David Harsanyi on Why the Supreme Court Doesn't Need Term Limits


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Well-known political scientist Norm Ornstein has come up with a way to deal with our dawdling government: term limiting Supreme Court justices. It's hardly a new idea among those on the left who believe that a bunch of old codgers are holding up progress by taking all things too literally.

But this should be about the long game, David Harsanyi argues. It's pretty clear that through lifetime appointments, the Founding Fathers wanted to shield judges from the political pressures of the day. An excellent byproduct of having ancient, long-serving justices is that they are far likelier to be impervious to fleeting populist bugaboos and contemporary preferences.

Justices may be bewildered by technology, but on the bright side, some of them still believe that protecting free speech is more vital to a liberal state than sticking it to some plutocratic oilmen.