House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will reportedly consider a bill on Tuesday that would impose major changes to the Supreme Court, including changes to the nomination process and would restrict the number of justices a president can replace in a single term.
Reuters reports the bill would impose term limits of 18 years on Supreme Court justices—from their current lifetime terms where they serve until they choose to retire, are impeached, or pass away while serving in office—and would set a limit on the number of justices a president can nominate in a single term to just two.
President Trump has previously nominated and saw the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, who is introducing the bill as President Trump is set to fill a vacancy on the nation’s highest court following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, said his bill would look to prevent the political fight over the court.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” Khanna said via the Daily Caller.
This bill, if codified, would prevent Trump from filling the vacancy until his next term.
Reuters reports: “The new bill would allow every president to nominate two justices per four-year term and comes amid heightened political tensions as Republican President Donald Trump prepares to announce his third pick for the Supreme Court after the death on Sept. 18 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with just 40 days to go until the Nov. 3 election.”
The bill – the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act – is the first to try to set Supreme Court term limits by statute, according to Gabe Roth, the executive director of Fix the Court, a judicial transparency group whose campaign for high court term limits has been gaining attention.
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Some legal observers, including those who favor term limits, say they must be accomplished through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which has been interpreted as requiring life tenure for federal judges and justices.
The bill seeks to avoid constitutional concerns by exempting current justices from the 18-year rule. Those appointed under term limits would become “senior” upon retirement and rotate to lower courts.