“What kind of person wants to have the same identical job for 35 years?”

For decades, activists across the political spectrum have debated whether the federal judiciary should have term limits. But the above question, recently posed in the hypothetical by retired judge Richard Posner, reveals how the jurists themselves may grow fatigued in their work.

The argument over lifetime appointments pits the need for detachment from politics in judicial decisions against the need for accountability for public officials. Thus far, the concern over political manipulation has outweighed the demands for oversight at the federal level, and no such term limits exist, though many states require specific terms of office and voter retention elections for judges at the district and appellate level.

But in an “exit interview” with The New York Times, Posner, a Reagan appointee who recently retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, inadvertently revealed how lifetime appointments can eventually make for sloppy judging. Speaking to the Times’ Adam Liptak, Posner said that the long tenure since his 1981 appointment had worn him down to the point that his interest in the case work had waned. “I started asking myself, what kind of person …read more


Source:: The Week – Politics

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