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The Future of the U.S Supreme Court

2016 Election U.S. Supreme Court Labor Unions Corporate Personhood Voting Rights Act

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#21
Unity

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https://www.washingt...:homepage/story

"However, Poindexter said he did not pay for Scalia’s charter flight to Texas.

A person familiar with the ranch’s operations said Poindexter hosts such events two or three times a year.

Poindexter, who would not identify Scalia’s friend, is a Texas native and decorated Vietnam veteran who owns Houston-based J.B. Poindexter & Co., a manufacturing firm.

The company has seven subsidiaries, with combined annual revenue of nearly $1 billion, according to information on its website. Among the items it manufacturers are delivery vans for UPS and FedEx and machine components for limousines and hearses. The company has 5,000 employees, the site said.

One of Poindexter’s companies was involved in a case that made it to the high court. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving an age discrimination lawsuit filed against one of these companies, court records show."

#22
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http://action.senate...s_fb_dla_scotus

 

 

This (see link) is probably not enough, but at least it is a start.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#23
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http://www.bloomberg...s-case-for-835m

LOL
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#24
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What will happen if Anthony Kennedy, who at least stood up for gay civil rights, is replaced by a more conservative justice?

Also, I am disappointed that you didn't give John Roberts the credit that he deserves for saving Obamacare, Caltrek. :(



#25
peaterlanster

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the conspiracy theorists are saying he was found with a pillow on his head so he was murdered I think trump started it with what he heard 



#26
caltrek

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What will happen if Anthony Kennedy, who at least stood up for gay civil rights, is replaced by a more conservative justice?

Also, I am disappointed that you didn't give John Roberts the credit that he deserves for saving Obamacare, Caltrek. :(

 

Well, in doing so he made sure that it would be in a way that would most embarrass Obama - ruling that the mandates were taxes and that the government did have the power to tax. Obama had insisted, perhaps incorrectly, that the mandates were not taxes.

 

Also, unlike Citizens United, I think he was nervous about having it look like the court was over-reaching.  It was much better to saddle Obama with all the blame for frustrations in health care than give the Democrats the out that it was all the fault of the Supreme Court for invalidating Obamacare.  So, I give Roberts credit for being politically pragmatic, but not much beyond that. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#27
caltrek

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https://www.washingt...:homepage/story


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#28
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What will happen if Anthony Kennedy, who at least stood up for gay civil rights, is replaced by a more conservative justice?

Also, I am disappointed that you didn't give John Roberts the credit that he deserves for saving Obamacare, Caltrek. :(

 

1. Well, in doing so he made sure that it would be in a way that would most embarrass Obama - ruling that the mandates were taxes and that the government did have the power to tax. Obama had insisted, perhaps incorrectly, that the mandates were not taxes.

 

2. Also, unlike Citizens United, I think he was nervous about having it look like the court was over-reaching.  It was much better to saddle Obama with all the blame for frustrations in health care than give the Democrats the out that it was all the fault of the Supreme Court for invalidating Obamacare.  So, I give Roberts credit for being politically pragmatic, but not much beyond that. 

1. You yourself appear to agree with Roberts on the mandates being taxes, though. :)

 

2. Possibly, but I think that he might have also been concerned about his and the court's future legacy (Yes, he ruled against legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide later, but unlike with Obamacare, Roberts wasn't the decisive vote on legalizing same-sex marriage). :)

 

Also, off-topic, but in regards to the 2000 election, it appears that Al Gore was a fool for not arguing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court that all absentee ballots should be excluded from the final vote tally due to equal protection violations. :( Indeed, had Gore done this, he might have very well won Florida by 202 votes:

http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all

 

"Even before Ms. Harris announced the final results, the Gore campaign had decided to formally contest Mr. Bush's victory in a lawsuit. One important question, though, was whether to challenge the overseas ballots. Campaign strategists tried to persuade Mr. Gore to do just that, saying it would allow Democratic lawyers to argue that the Republicans had benefited from the unequal treatment of absentee ballots.

There was another potential benefit. Under Florida law, if the number of improper absentee ballots exceeds the margin of victory, a judge can, under some circumstances, disqualify all absentee ballots arriving after the election and base the results on only those ballots cast and received by Election Day. On the basis of the final official tally, that would have had Mr. Gore winning by 202 votes.

Mr. Gore rejected his aides' advice.

Joe Sandler, who was the Democratic National Committee's general counsel, recalled how Mr. Gore explained his decision. ''I can give you his exact words: 'If I won this thing by a handful of military ballots, I would be hounded by Republicans and the press every day of my presidency and it wouldn't be worth having.' ''

As the election contest wound its way through the courts, the Republicans pressed their argument that the manual recounts violated the Constitution's equal protection clause. In the United States Supreme Court, this contention provoked searching debate among the justices and the lawyers about the lack of consistent standards for counting dimpled ballots and hanging chads, and in its decision giving the election to George W. Bush, the court concluded that uniform treatment was a matter of fundamental fairness.

''Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms,'' the majority wrote, ''the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another.''

The court did not consider the varying treatment of military and civilian votes. It did not address the unequal treatment of the 2,490 ballots that finally determined the election's outcome. Those issues were never raised."



#29
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Indeed, that equal protection argument could have really screwed Bush over if Gore would have applied this argument to absentee ballots. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court would have probably been unable to accept the equal protection argument for the Florida statewide manual recount and yet simultaneously reject the equal protection argument for Florida's absentee ballots.



#30
Guyverman1990

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I learned in Highschool that the Senate in any country whether it be Canada, the US or any democratic country is the only aspect in the government that does not evolve elections. If that its the case, then senates should be abolished by any means necessary for the sake of human rights.



#31
jamesgera

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I believe the Supreme Court judges should be elected into office like everyone else

#32
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http://prospect.org/...-oral-arguments

 

 

 

 

The decision over whether Texas's abortion restrictions constitute an undue burden on a woman's right to choose will likely come down to which side persuaded Justice Anthony Kennedy.                                           

 

 

Edit:

 

Here is another article concerning the same case:

 

 http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/03/supreme-court-texas-abortion-liberal-justices-ginsburg-breyer


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#33
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http://www.economist...court-justice-0

 

"Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat"


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#34
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http://prospect.org/...y-don’t-mean-it

 

 

 

After the contested presidential election of 2000, when five Republican Supreme Court appointees halted the Florida recount and handed the presidency to George W. Bush, the Bush administration made judicial nominations a top priority. It partnered with the Federalist Society, which had come into its own as a sophisticated network of conservative legal scholars, practitioners, and students, with a membership in the thousands. Promising young law students, who joined Society chapters in the 1980s, spent their formative years in the bubble of a conservative legal movement that mentored and moved them into positions of influence. The Society honed a model designed to operate, in the words of legal affairs reporter David Margolick, as “a sort of judicial hatchery, spawning and cultivating reliably conservative judges and their reliably conservative law clerks.”

 

Bush moved quickly to make a number of controversial nominations, catering to a conservative base deeply invested in the courts. When Democratic senators filibustered a handful of the most far-right nominees, the Bush administration orchestrated a showdown. The clash came to a head in the “nuclear option” battle of 2005, when then-Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened to eliminate the filibuster. In the bipartisan “Gang of 14 Compromise,” the judicial filibuster won a brief reprieve. (The Democrats finally eliminated it, for certain nominees, in 2013 as a response to Republican stalling tactics.) And three nominees strenuously opposed by the Democrats were given a path to confirmation.

 

Donald Trump has already identified one of these three especially controversial appointees, appeals court judge William Pryor, as an ideal Supreme Court pick.

 

Pryor first made a name for himself as Alabama’s attorney general, the nation’s youngest. He was a zealous crusader for states’ rights, most notably through a campaign to roll back the post-New Deal legal consensus that gives Congress the power to regulate the economy and promote social justice. After Bush nominated him, one reporter described Pryor as “a B-52 candidate”—not the more conventional stealth candidate—“who has spent his career flying high, carpet-bombing the landscape with conservative views on federalism, abortion, church-state separation, and a host of crime and punishment issues.” Since joining the federal bench, Pryor has turned out to be as conservative as his detractors feared—upholding voter ID laws, approving sectarian prayers at county commission meetings, and supporting religious exceptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.

 

Trump has also floated the name of federal appeals judge Diane Sykes as a possible high court nominee. Sykes is a Bush appointee who previously had staked out a place on the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s far-right flank. While not filibustered, her federal court nomination engendered controversy. On the federal bench, she has stood out for her conservative jurisprudence. Her rulings on Obamacare’s birth control mandate and on religious freedom have been hailed by the religious right. And she delighted the gun lobby with her vote against Chicago’s ban on gun firing ranges.

 

In naming these two prospects, Trump is sending a signal to a GOP base that cares deeply about the courts. There is little reason to think he wouldn’t deliver. If he didn’t choose Pryor or Sykes, he could look to other Bush appeals judges, including Jeffrey Sutton who, in the remarkable run of federal court cases expanding marriage equality after the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision, wrote the only appeals court opinion upholding a state marriage ban. The Supreme Court overruled him in last year’s landmark marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges. Or, Trump could turn to Janice Rogers Brown, a federal circuit court judge who called the post-New Deal regulatory state “the triumph of our socialist revolution.”

 

Does Trump have a fully developed theory of constitutional interpretation? Probably not. But as the presumptive GOP standard bearer looking to shore up crucial constituencies within his party, he will do what previous candidates have done: promise the base that the judiciary will stay in conservative hands. If elected, he may very well have the opportunity to make more than one appointment. On Inauguration Day 2017, three of the remaining eight justices will be 78 years or older.                                                                                   

So—in a worst case scenario for progressives—the next four years may look like Richard Nixon’s first term, which locked in four decades of conservative dominion over the Supreme Court.

 

Then, as now, a Democratic president nominated a new justice in the last year of his term, when Chief Justice Earl Warren announced his intention to retire. Then, as now, the Senate balked. Once elected, Nixon not only had the opportunity to fill the held-over vacancy, appointing a new chief justice in 1969—he went on to appoint three other justices that term, moving the Court on a rightward trajectory that has continued to this day.

ap495466997827.jpg?itok=6oCNMVib

Judge Anthony Scalia of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C. on August 5, 1986.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#35
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Unions prevail as US Supreme Court deadlocks in fees case

 

http://news.yahoo.co...-145234157.html

 

 

 

Washington (AFP) - The US Supreme Court deadlocked Tuesday in a 4-4 decision that effectively affirms the right of public employee unions to collect mandatory fees from non-members in states that allow the practice. The court had been expected to rule against the unions before the death in February of conservative justice Antonin Scalia, underscoring the impact of a vacancy that the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to fill while Barack Obama is president.In split decisions, the lower court rulings stand -- in this case, favoring unions against a challenge to state laws that allow them to collect mandatory fees from non-members."The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court," the court said, referring to the appellate court decision in a case brought by a group of California public school teachers...The system, upheld in a 1977 Supreme Court decision, has been adopted by more than 20 US states and has been consistently reaffirmed by the courts.

 

 

scotus_ruling_635x250_1457371715.jpg


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
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http://www.newser.co...are-ruling.html

 

 

The Supreme Court is ridding itself of a knotty dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control, reports the AP. The court on Monday asked lower courts to take another look at the issue in a search of a compromise. The justices issued an unsigned opinion in a case over the arrangement devised by the administration to spare faith-based groups from having to pay for birth control for women covered under their health plans. As NPR explains, the law allows such groups to skip providing contraceptive coverage provided they write a letter to the feds explaining their objections. Their insurance provider would then provide the coverage. The faith groups, however, say the workaround makes them "complicit in sin."

 

Monday's ruling means that a major confrontation over an element of President Obama's health care law is ending with a whimper and with no resolution of the issue the court undertook to decide. The case almost certainly would not return to the Supreme Court until after the 2016 presidential election. The outcome suggests the court lacked a majority for a significant ruling and is perhaps another example of how the court has been affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
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Game Changer: Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision

 

https://www.propubli...ortion-decision

 


 

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was an unexpectedly sweeping victory for reproductive rights advocates — a “game changer,” said Nancy Northrop of the Center for Reproductive Rights that “leaves the right to an abortion on much stronger footing than it stood on before this decision was handed down,” long-time court-watcher Ian Millhiser wrote.

 

Abortion foes had hoped the court would use the Texas abortion case as an opportunity to gut not just Roe v. Wade, but also 1992’s seminal Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which held that abortion laws creating an “undue burden” on women were unconstitutional. Instead, the court clarified and strengthened Casey while striking down two of Texas law H.B. 2’s key provisions — strict building rules for abortion clinics and a requirement that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This could invalidate anti-abortion laws in another 25 states.

 

Here’s some of the best analysis so far about the Whole Women’s Health ruling, what it portends for reproductive rights in the U.S., and the future direction of the Supreme Court. It should be noted: In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, much of the insta-commentary came from the left. Abortion opponents harshly criticized the decision but didn’t offer much in the way of analysis or predictions about their new way forward. As that changes, we’ll update this post.

 

Texas lawmakers overreached — and the result is likely to be a disaster for the anti-abortion movement. So says Millhiser at the liberal site ThinkProgress. H.B. 2 was supposed to provide abortion foes “with a vehicle to drain what life remains in Roe v. Wade,” Millhiser said. But if anti-abortion groups thought previous Supreme Court rulings opened the door to more and more onerous regulation of abortion, the Whole Woman’s Health opinion “slams that door shut, bolts it, places a bar over it, and pushes a sofa behind the door.” Meanwhile, in an analysis on SCOTUSblog, Cornell law professor Michael C. Dorf described H.B. 2 and similar restrictions purportedly focused on health and safety as “guerilla warfare against abortion itself” — a legally risky ploy that ended up backfiring badly. “Lawyers should be on notice that Justices cannot be tricked into ruling against their druthers, at least if the law leaves any wiggle room at all,” Dorf wrote.

 

Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion was unmemorable, but masterful.“There’s not much in Justice Breyer’s opinion that’s quotable,” said Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times, who described the tone as “dry, almost clinical.” “But there’s not much that’s debatable either, and that’s what matters.” The fact-filled opinion offered something that’s been missing from the court’s discussion of abortion for the last 25 years, added the Times’ Emily Bazelon: “its focus on women — their health, well-being and ability to access a constitutional right. Maybe that sounds obvious, but in many of the court’s previous rulings on this subject, it has been anything but.” Meanwhile, the fact that a “wonky male justice” wrote the opinion “drains the last modicum of gendered passion from the morning,” said Dahlia Lithwick at Slate. “This isn’t just a women’s case about women’s rights and women’s health. It’s a case about pretextual laws that could have caused untold damage and about the constitutionally protected right to choose, which has been bolstered by a majority of the Supreme Court that includes two men.”

 

Justice Anthony Kennedy continues to evolve in surprising ways. In two of the most important cases of the term, on abortion and affirmative action, Kennedy broke with his past rulings, noted Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern. “Kennedy’s jurisprudence has entered a bold new era, one less doctrinally rigid and more nuanced toward race and gender in the United States today,” Stern wrote. At the Washington Post, op-ed columnist David Cole praised Kennedy’s “surprisingly open mind”: “Breaking with one’s peers and rethinking one’s commitments are not easy. In our increasingly divided political culture, many of us rarely do…. [I]t’s an attribute especially important in those who hold the power to enforce constitutional law.”

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be planting seeds for the future. Some court-watchers puzzled over why the Notorious RBG, who signed on to Breyer’s opinion, would bother to write a two-page concurrence as well. Linda Hirshman, author of “Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World,” thinks she knows. At some point soon, courts will have to return to the issue of whether targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP laws) like H.B. 2 are ever valid to protect women’s health. “She is writing into law the factual finding that abortion is safe, full stop,” Hirshman wrote in the Post, giving future courts the precedential language they need to overturn such laws.

 

Abortion laws are likely to fall around the country — but not without a fight. By striking down Texas’s tough abortion restrictions, the Supreme Court “has emboldened abortion-rights activists nationwide and imperiled a range of anti-abortion laws in numerous states,” the conservative site NewsMax reported, adding that anti-abortion leaders were “bracing for the demise of restrictions that they had worked vigorously to enact over the past few years.” Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel at Americans United for Life, told Bloomberg that his group doesn’t read the decision ”as foreclosing all clinic regulations and admitting privilege requirements, but it clearly puts a greater burden on the states to give the justices more evidence." The Supreme Court’s decision only applies to Texas, Vox’s Sarah Kliff and Sarah Frostenson point out. “Each of the other state laws will need to be challenged and also found unconstitutional.”

29court-master768.jpg

Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, in August 2013. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a state law that would have shut down the clinic, a decision upheld Tuesday by the Supreme Court. CreditRogelio V. Solis/Associated Press


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#38
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Came across this article from a few weeks ago. Ginsburg goes on about Trump but she also may have spilled the beans about the short-term appearance of the court with this:

 

"It's likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make," Ginsburg, told the AP, a thinly veiled reference to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

 

 

She's 83, Breyer is 77, and Kennedy is 79. Rumblings of Clarence Thomas also leaving the bench were in the headlines too a while back. Could be seeing up to 4 justices potentially leaving the bench (though I'd hate to see Ginsburg leave). Pretty big deal with whoever becomes the next president. Potential Trump nominees look like a disaster. Those like William Pryor would probably overturn both Obergefell v. Hodges and Lawrence v. Texas if they had the chance. It'll be interesting how the court is shaped going into the middle of the century. Though it is interesting how certain conservatives get on the court only to turn out to be quite liberal on certain issues (looking at you Kennedy).


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#39
Futurist

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Came across this article from a few weeks ago. Ginsburg goes on about Trump but she also may have spilled the beans about the short-term appearance of the court with this:

 

"It's likely that the next president, whoever she will be, will have a few appointments to make," Ginsburg, told the AP, a thinly veiled reference to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. 

 

 

1. She's 83, Breyer is 77, and Kennedy is 79. Rumblings of Clarence Thomas also leaving the bench were in the headlines too a while back.

 

2. Could be seeing up to 4 justices potentially leaving the bench (though I'd hate to see Ginsburg leave).

 

3. Pretty big deal with whoever becomes the next president. Potential Trump nominees look like a disaster. Those like William Pryor would probably overturn both Obergefell v. Hodges and Lawrence v. Texas if they had the chance. It'll be interesting how the court is shaped going into the middle of the century. Though it is interesting how certain conservatives get on the court only to turn out to be quite liberal on certain issues (looking at you Kennedy).

1. Short of health problems, though, I doubt that either Kennedy or Thomas will retire under a Democratic President's watch.

 

2. Yes, but having either 3 or 4 Justices leave the bench absent health problems during a Democratic President's watch is probably very unlikely.

 

3. The key word here is "if," though. Indeed, due to the principle of stare decisis as well as due to changing public opinion on this in a more liberal direction, I am certainly extremely hesitant that the U.S. Supreme Court will ever again hear any cases which pertain to sodomy, gay sex, and same-sex marriage.

Also, in regards to Anthony Kennedy, it is worth noting that he only got nominated by President Ronald Reagan after two of Reagan's more conservative nominees (Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg) had their nominations fail. Indeed, Reagan probably only nominated Kennedy because the 1988 elections were approaching and Reagan needed to quickly get someone who is at least moderately conservative on the U.S. Supreme Court before his term ended.



#40
Futurist

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In addition to this, off-topic, but I certainly support having a, say, 15 or 20 year term limit for U.S. Supreme Court Justices.






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