Coming to Terms with Term Limits: Fixing the Downward Spiral of Supreme Court Appointments

Author(s): 
Kermit Roosevelt III, Ruth-Helen Vassilas
Publication Date: 
June 29, 2017

ACS is pleased to release "Coming to Terms with Term Limits: Fixing the Downward Spiral of Supreme Court Appointments," by Kermit Roosevelt III, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Ruth-Helen Vassilas, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Class of 2018.

In the Issue Brief, the authors reflect on the acrimonious process of filling Supreme Court vacancies and observe that “the Constitution contemplates a nonpartisan appointment process” and “fails to answer the question over which the two parties now battle: when a president is entitled to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.” Their proposed solution to this problem is term limits for Supreme Court Justices. Roosevelt and Vassilas argue that instituting such limits would “mirror[] the practice of the rest of the Western world” and is supported by “law and policy thinkers from across our political spectrum.” Moreover, they contend that term limits could be implemented by statute and would not require a constitutional amendment.