Reaching our limit

Peggy Noonan has a long, insightful column about the Miers nomination. She concludes by advocating term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
I’ve supported such term limits, and the Roberts confirmation process coupled with the Miers nomination throws the case for them into sharper relief. Under the current rules of engagement (the Ginsburg precedent), nominees refuse to tell the Senate and the public much about what they are likely to do on the bench. And the large number of Democrats willing to vote against Roberts on ideological grounds increases the incentive for presidents to nominate individuals who haven’t publicly said much about constitutional issues. Finally, Miers notwithstanding, we can expect relatively young nominees going forward.
In short, we are getting less and less information about individuals who are likely to serve on the Court for longer and longer periods of time in an era when the Court has never been more important. In this perfect storm, the case for term limits seems overwhelming, and my skepticism about the possibility of enacting them is diminishing a bit. Whatever happens to Miers (and I’m pretty sure she will be confirmed), the process will leave a bad taste in the mouth of many Senators on both sides.


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