The Supreme Court: Depoliticizing the Judiciary
Citizens should be able to trust the court to provide equal justice under the law no matter who sits on the bench. Restoring trust in the Supreme Court requires structural changes to diminish the incentives for Congressional Democrats and Republicans to declare war with one another each time a vacancy occurs.
Our Solutions In Brief
To remain consistent with the intentions of the Founders and grant judges some autonomy from the other two branches of government and public opinion, they should be allowed a generous, but not lifelong, tenure of 18 years. This would allow for a predictable appointment schedule: a president would appoint one justice in the first year and one in the third year of a term.
Between the previous rule (60 votes to confirm) and today's rule (51 votes to confirm), there is a middle ground that would require at least some bipartisan support for any confirmation. If the same party controls the White House and the Senate, 60 votes would be required to invoke cloture and proceed to a vote on a nominee. During a period of divided government, however, a 60-vote cloture requirement would allow a filibuster to effectively derail any presidential nomination for the Supreme Court, regardless of the quality of the nominee.
The United States is the only major democracy
in which judges on the highest court serve lifelong terms.
the average tenure of a Supreme Court justice
of Supreme Court decisions were unanimous since 2000, while 19% were 5-4.
Cases involving politically-charged issue areas are more likely than others to provide divided votes.
Cases involving less politically-charged issues are more likely to produce unanimous votes.
of Americans believe Supreme Court justices should have term limits
of Senate roll call votes in the years since 2007-2008 involved appointment confirmations