House Democrats, Reps. Ro Khanna of California and Don Beyer of Virginia have introduced a bill to impose term limits on Supreme Court justices. The move comes after several consecutive rulings during the final week of the term did not align with the Biden administration’s objectives.
The bill, known as the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act, seeks to “rebalance” the court and curb “extreme partisanship.” The bill is being reintroduced after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to reject President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness. The majority ruled that the plan did not have the necessary authorization under federal law.
Khanna expressed concern over the court’s decision, stating that it would put hardworking Americans at risk of default and adversely affect the economy. He argued that lifetime appointments, intended to ensure impartiality, have resulted in justices becoming partisan and out of touch with the American public. Khanna expressed pride in reintroducing the bill, asserting that term limits would help restore balance to the court and prevent extreme partisanship.
The lawmakers highlighted the escalating cost of college education since 1980, which has tripled, while federal aid and wages have not kept pace. They noted that student debt currently exceeds $1.6 million collectively, while many Americans struggle to make ends meet. Beyer criticized the Supreme Court as a distant, unelected body that can significantly impact people’s lives without being held accountable. He cited recent partisan decisions, including those affecting reproductive and voting rights, as eroding public trust in the court. Beyer also raised concerns about financial relationships between justices and conservative donors, which have raised integrity questions.
It is worth noting that the court’s majority also ruled in favor of the Biden administration’s arguments in a case involving state courts’ authority in elections. Of course, Khanna and Beyer praised this ruling, with Khanna commending the court for protecting free and fair elections in a tweet and Beyer hailing it as a victory for democracy. President Biden, however, expressed caution regarding progressive efforts to expand the size of the Supreme Court, warning that such measures could forever politicize the institution in an unhealthy manner.