House Democrats plan to introduce a bill next week that would limit US Supreme Court justices’ lifetime appointments to 18 years, a largely symbolic response to the high-stakes battle in Congress over the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The legislation has no chance of passage in the GOP-led Senate, where Republicans are trying to fast-track a successor to Ginsburg and enshrine a conservative majority for a generation. Democrats have accused the GOP of a power grab and argue that the iconic liberal justice’s successor should be picked by the next president, but Republicans say it’s the President’s constitutional prerogative to fill the empty seat.
But under the “Supreme Court Term Limits Act,” after a justice serves 18 years on the Supreme Court, they would be allowed to continue serving on a lower court.
The legislation would exempt the current justices from the term limits. It would also change the appointment process, making it so every president has the opportunity to appoint only two justices during their four years in office. A president would nominate a new justice in the first and third year of their presidency.