The Courts and Interest Groups

The Courts and Interest Groups

Federal justices serve on the bench “during good Behaviour,” typically meaning until they resign, retire, or pass away. Some have proposed a number of modifications to this, including rotating 18-year terms, staggered such that vacancies are uniform across time. Do you believe justices should have rotating, fixed terms? Why or why not?

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Federal justices are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, so voters have no direct say in who is selected. However, many state courts (like Texas) use competitive elections to select judges, while other states (like California) hold retention elections where the governor first appoints a justice and voters then decide in the next election if they want that individual to continue on. Which selection method do you think is superior? Should justices be elected or appointed? How might these mechanisms change their decisions?

The power of “special interests” in DC is often decried by many. Do you believe that interest groups have too much power in the United States? Why or why not? If you believe they have too much power, how could this be addressed?

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