Supreme Court Appointments
President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary committee will continue to hear testimony about Judge Kavanaugh and decide whether to recommend him to the full senate for a vote on his lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.
The Big Question
In This era of extreme partisan division in the public and on the Supreme Court, should Supreme Court justices be appointed for life?
Related Questions to Consider
Should Congress have term limits?
Should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed to the Supreme Court?
Would we be having a huge national argument about Brett Kavanaugh if we were talking about a 12 or 15 year term in office, as opposed to a lifetime appointment (which could easily last another 30 years - until 2048)?
What does this national debate about the accusations against Kavanaugh tell us about divisions in the United States?
Do you have friends who disagree with you about this issue?
Do you believe the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh?
in 1991 Anita Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. He was confirmed to the court. Fast forward 27 years and two women have accused nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual harassment. How much have things changed since 1991?
Add your own question in the field below:
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In this era of extreme partisan division in the public and on the Supreme Court, should Supreme Court justices be appointed for life?
In this era of extreme partisan division, should Supreme Court justices be appointed for life? #convo #apgov #apgopo @apgov216 @mr_cook1776 @MCMartirone @DCSocialStudies @RAPLewis And join us in our CONVO where we tackle critical issues of the day! https://t.co/bZYdCv9LBL— AP US Government (@UsGoPoPro) September 25, 2018
Learn - facts, data, maps, charts, visuals, videos, audio
First some background.
Unlike every other democracy in the world, the US has lifetime appointments for the Supreme Court. This means that whoever gets appointed could serve for 30 or more years — a tenure that is becoming more and more the norm. Here’s what the United States Constitution says about it.
Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. Here’s what the United States Constitution says about it.
In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton (the Ten Dollar, Founding Father, Without a Father) explained why Supreme Court Justices should have lifetime appointments.
Here’s some visual data about Supreme Court Appointments
Read this NY Times Upshot article about why Supreme Court Justices are serving longer than ever.
The majority of Americans agree that term limits for federal judges should be enacted, but setting a such a limit would take an act of Congress.
A Reuters poll last year found widespread support for term limits. Sixty-six percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Republicans wanted 10-year terms for justices, and 80 percent of those identified with the Tea Party–supported term limits.
Critical Opinion (GoPo Pro and Con editorials)
From The New York Times - The Supreme Court Needs Term Limits
From the Atlantic Magazine - Life Tenure Is Too Long for Supreme Court Justices
From Republican Commentator Mike Huckabee - Huckabee calls for term limits
From Harvard Business Review - The Supreme Court Has a Longevity Problem, but Term Limits on Justices Won’t Solve It
From the Federalist - No, Supreme Court Justices Don’t Need Term Limits
PRON & CRO (both sides)
From Bustle - 7 Pros and Cons of Supreme Court Term Limits
And according to Lin Manuel Miranda, here’s what Alexander Hamilton and George Washington thought about term limits (although in this case, it was about POTUS not SCOTUS).
Practice what you’ve learned about Supreme Court Life Sentences (I mean, terms) with our charts, questions, class starters, and POV scramble on our SCOTUS Lifetime Appointment Practice Worksheet.