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A Time for Constitutional Amendment on Term Limit of SCOTUS

Updated on October 21, 2017
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Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


The sudden death of Justice Scalia and recent comments by Justice Ginsberg demonstrate that our life time appointment for Supreme Court Justices needs to change.

- Jul. 2016


As a conservative and a defender of the Constitution, I am reaching the conclusion that this is one of the rare cases where an Amendment is called for. The idea of life time appointment was fine in 1789 when the averge life span of an individual was 60 plus years. The Founding Fathers wanted a brach of government that is totally impartial and want the wisdom of this body to prevail over a long period of time. That way, they can decide on issues and the Constitutionality of a law based on a long view of decades. The average age of a justice was sixty plus years.

Today, in 2016, where the average age of Americans is now increased to 79 years and with better medicine and improved procedures, many seniors live to over 90 years of age. All this is agood thing for the public but I'm not sure it is good for life time appointmemts.

Recent Events

Three recent events should alert us to this problem.

1. The sudden death of Justice Scalia at the age of 79 left the Court vacant during an election year.

2. The split decision of the high court 4-4 on the Consitutionality of Obama's Executive action on immigration. it was a clear open and shut case and yet the four liberal Justices made a political decision rather than uphold the law.

3. The comment make by Justice Ruth Ginsberg on the presidential candidate of Donald Teump. It was inappropriate for the justice to weigh in. She later apologized.

Ruth Ginsberg Asleep

A Consitutional Amendment Proposal

Conservatives belives in the Constitution. They also believe that it is a living document that would require changes and adjustments based on the changing times. The people and Congress need to debate the pros and cons and vote for the changes.

It is time to set term limits to the SCOTUS.

  • maximum term of 20 years or age 70 which ever came first.
  • periodic medical check up to make sure they are able to serve
  • provision for removal by impeachment process for misbehavior (high crimes)

Why age 70? It is a fact that as we age, the chance of Alzheimer and other demensia rises. The justice must have all his brain capacity intact in order to make decisions that affect all 320 million Americans.

We have laws that require older people to take driver tests periodically to insure they can perform the task of controlling a 3000 pound vehicle. We need a similar test to make sure our judges are capable to perform their duties.

As with other elected and appointed officials of government, there must be a path to remove that person due to miss conducts. The impeachment is that process.

All three provisions are necessary to insure the integrity of the high court.


The Supreme Court is an important part of our system of government. It is one of the 3 branches that acts to check and balance the Executive and the Legislative branches. Their important decisions have long term effects on all of us. We need to appoint judges that are impartial and who understand our Constitution inside and out. Their long term of services was put in place so they can weigh issues with a very long view. However, 20 years should be the maximum limit. Our Congressmen should take on this task as soon as possible to fix this exposure.

© 2016 Jack Lee


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