October 25th, 2023, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Edward M. Kennedy Institute, 210 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125
The Supreme Court holds immense power in our Constitutional system. As growing levels of partisan polarization and decreasing public trust have come to characterize the American political landscape, the Court has also become increasingly controversial, with Americans’ views of its legitimacy divided along ideological lines. One often-overlooked factor exacerbating these concerns is the fact that Justices today live far longer — and thus serve far longer — than the Framers are likely to have imagined. Life tenure, as the Court operates today, has raised the stakes of each new Supreme Court nomination, leading to a wide range of undesirable outcomes.
A new publication from the bipartisan U.S. Supreme Court Working Group of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences sets out a possible path to reform. The Case for Supreme Court Term Limits builds on the Academy’s 2020 landmark report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, to examine how 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices could be enacted without the need for a Constitutional amendment.
At this event, co-hosted by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Akhil Amar, Charles Fried, Kimberly Atkins Stohr, Gabe Roth, and Judge Patti Saris will discuss the new publication, the possibility of establishing Supreme Court term limits, and the role the Senate could play in enacting such a reform.