RBG Hospitalized Over The Weekend | Why It’s Time For Supreme Court Term Limits
November 25, 2019
Over the weekend, JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG was hospitalized for having a fever and chills. Earlier this month, she missed oral argument because she was home with the stomach bug, and in August she endured three weeks of radiation treatment for her pancreatic cancer. She is a four-time cancer survivor. Ginsburg was released from the hospital on Sunday, and the Supreme Court said in a statement that she “is at home and doing well.”
WE TALKIN' TERMS|
In response to RBG’s latest hospital visit, John Fund writes in the National Review about the merits of term limits on Supreme Court justices, particularly the concept of justices having fixed 18-year terms as advocated by Fix the Court. Fund writes, “It’s time to end the unseemly position that the anachronism of life tenure for Supreme Court justices has put the country in. It’s a good thing that modern medicine is extending the lives of everyone, including Supreme Court justices. But the time has come to remove the incentives that make justices serve until they drop dead or are gaga. It’s time to put term limits on the Supreme Court.”
A LONE DISSENT|
Lawrence Hurley with Reuters reports the Supreme Court today allowed a prominent climate scientist, Michael Mann, to pursue a defamation lawsuit against the conservative magazine, National Review, and a think tank that compared him to a convicted child molester. “The justices declined to hear appeals filed by National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute seeking to overturn a lower court’s ruling that allowed the lawsuit filed by scientist Michael Mann to go forward.” Hurley notes that JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO dissented, writing that the case raised questions “that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
The Supreme Court also announced today that it won’t be considering an appeal filed by convicted killer ADNAN SYED, the main subject of the Serial podcast. The SCOTUS decision leaves in place a state appeals court decision keeping Syed in prison for life.
BFFS AND SCOTUS|
A piece in The Washington Post, adapted from the new Ruth Marcus book on JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, recounts the enormous roles SENATORS SUSAN COLLINS and LISA MURKOWSKI had in deciding the fate of Trump’s nominee. Marcus delves into the senators’ close friendship and their histories as politicians that led to their decisive votes. “The motto in presidential politics has long been ‘As Maine goes, so goes the nation.’ In the Kavanaugh fight, the governing assumption was that where Collins went, so would Murkowski.”
Adam Liptak with The New York Times considers whether PRESIDENT TRUMP can challenge his impeachment at the Supreme Court — and whether the justices would entertain such a challenge at all. Liptak explains that the Constitution excludes SCOTUS from the impeachment process, except when the president is tried and the chief justice is called upon to preside.
ANOTHER AWKWARD HOLIDAY|
To help put the pending impeachment into perspective, Ariane de Vogue with CNN reports that we have arrived at the anniversary of CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS issuing his famous rebuke of PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP. This time last year, Roberts issued a statement responding to comments Trump had made criticizing an appellate court. Roberts said, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.” De Vogue writes, “A year later, as the country prepares again to celebrate Thanksgiving, the relationship between the two men is once again center stage, and this time the president could use Roberts’s vote. The two men, both heads of their respective branches, could once again be poised to clash and the result could have lasting impact on the relationship between the branches of government.”
“The plaintiffs in New York State Rifle brought a narrow challenge to this framework. As a federal appeals court explained in an opinion upholding the city’s repealed rule, some of the plaintiffs ‘seek to transport their handguns to shooting ranges and competitions outside New York City.’ One plaintiff also owns two homes, and he wants to be able to transport the same gun between these two homes. That’s it. They sued for a small expansion of the rights afforded to people with premises licenses. And indeed, last July, the state acquiesced: It passed a law permitting people with premises licenses to do the very thing that these plaintiffs wish to do. That renders the case moot — or so one would think.”The Hill
“President Trump on Sunday swiped at a new book written by a Washington Post columnist looking at the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In a tweet, Trump asserted that Ruth Marcus’s book was full of ‘incorrect facts,’ while simultaneously praising a different book on Kavanaugh from Federalist writer Mollie Hemingway.”Reuters
“The daughter of a woman killed in a 2012 mass shooting will not be able to sue the operator of a firearms classified advertising website from which the killer illegally bought his gun after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear her appeal. The justices left in place an April ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that found that a federal law that shields website operators from liability for user content applied to Armslist LLC, the operator of Armslist.com.”