Just a few days ago Rick Perry announced his desire to start all foreign aid at zero dollars and then require nations to justify why they should receive financial aid from the US. Many thought this to be a drastic move, but wait, there’s more.
On Tuesday, Perry told a crowd in Iowa that he wants to be aggressive in making changes to Washington. Among the more drastic measures he has revealed his intention of cutting Congresses salary in half; require a two-thirds majority vote for any tax increases and to end the lifetime appointments of all federal judges.
And he indicated that this is just the start to his reform measures to clean up Washington and spur the economy. Unlike the current administration whose legislation has added thousands to the federal payroll, Perry wants to cut government down to an affordable size.
I’ve been advocating the end of the tradition of lifetime appointments for federal judges for years. As a matter of fact, there is nothing in the Constitution or Amendments that state a federal judicial appointment is for the life of the judge. What the Constitution does say is that they are to serve in ‘good behavior’, nothing more.
I would go further that Perry and promote a Constitutional Amendment stating term limits for all federal judges, including the US Supreme Court. In the case of SCOTUS, I would set terms of three years with a maximum of three terms. With nine members on the Court, their terms would be staggered so that three members of the Court would be up for renewal or replacement every year.
For federal courts such as the US District Court of Appeals that have three judges, I would set the same term limits as with SCOTUS, so that one of the members of the bench would come up for reappointment or replacement every year.
In addition to term limits, I would create a review process of all decisions rendered by every federal judge. The process would look at their decisions to determine constitutionality, possible favoritism or influence from outside sources such as lobbyists and financial supporters. The review process would result in a grading of sorts where the judge would have to have a rating high enough to designate them as serving in ‘good behavior’ as the Constitution states. If they fail to meet the minimum standards, then they will not be eligible to retain their seat on the bench when their three year term expires.
If done properly, it should lead more judges ruling on the law and not their own personal beliefs or the desires of those filling their pockets with all kinds of gratuities.
I pray that Rick Perry along with the rest of the Republican candidates read this Amendment proposal and that it will prompt them to adopt this as part of their campaign platform.