Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2007


Supreme Court justices, Judicial tenure, Judicial independence


Constitutional Law | Judges


Life tenure for Supreme Court Justices has had harmful consequences that could not have been foreseen by the Founders. The seriousness of these harms makes it necessary and proper to use the hindsight we enjoy today to correct them. This Article begins with a brief summary of the constitutional provisions relevant to judicial tenure and examines how the system of life tenure functions today. The harmful consequences of life tenure are then examined, leading to the conclusion that a statutory solution is required. The article then proposes such a solution and examines its constitutionality, concluding that language, history and purpose support the conclusion that Congress has legislative authority to enact the needed statutory reform.

Publication Citation

Published in: California Law Review, Vol. 95, Special Issue (Fall 2007).