Letters to the Editor

Limits for Supreme Court justices

Limits for justices

Term limits are needed for U.S. Supreme Court justices. One of the reasons we need term limits for them is the danger that, by the time they realize the need to vacate the bench, they may have passed the point where they can rationally make this judgment.

And at that point everyone else is reluctant to suggest retirement. So we can end up with a non-functioning individual on the highest court in the land. When the Constitution established the court in 1789, life expectancy was considerably lower than it is today and the framers would not have been able to predict that without term limits, a judge could continue to sit for decades without regard to whether they possessed the health or mental capacity to fulfill their responsibility.

With fixed terms and staggered vacancies, the confirmation process would be substantially de-politicized. For all these reasons the system needs an update.

Steven Z. Levinson, Miami Beach