20 April 2006

More 9th Circuit Loveliness

Prof. Eugene Volokh (and former Law Clerk for Judge Kozinski) decries the recent 1st Amendment decision handed down as a 2-1 decision (with Judge Kozinski dissenting (pdf at link)) that in Prof. Volokh's estimation, to summarize what he says, and to steal from Orwell, All Exercises of Free Speech are Equal, but Some exercises of Free Speech are more equal than Others.

Would anyone be surprised that the majority decision was from Judge Reinhardt, aka One of The Most Overturned Judge in History (and Carter appointee on the bench since 1980, also here is a 2004 interview from How Appealing) and more recent Clinton apointee, Judge Thomas?

So let me suggest that all judges (and Justices) regardless of ideological bent or who put them on the bench, should seriously consider a self-imposed limit of 14 years of any one level of federal bench, and a lifetime total of 30 years of service to this country.

Lifespans are increasing, the thought that people could sit on the bench for 40 years on a frequent basis didn't occur when the framers framed the constitution. Rather than forcing an amendment process, I say jurists should be honorable and impose reasonable restraints on their service to our country.

(and my suggestion would clear out more Reagan and Bush appointees who are currently serving than it would get rid of Carter hold outs clinging on far past what's reasonable)

The way the system now works, both sides pick jurists in their 40s and early 50s with the hopes that they will be around 40-50 years from now, leaving an ideological imprint on the courts that lasts for multiple generations.

That more than anything is what has politicized the Federal judiciary, and a self-imposed limit that jurists from all viewpoints can agree upon and follow may be the only way to ratchet down this stupidity.

1 comment:

Pooh said...

Seperate from the term limits issue (which I'm not sure I agree or disagree with. I'd probably draw a distinction between trial and appellate level judges/justices, but I haven't given the issue a whole lot of thought)

As to the merits of the particular case, I though that this was a rather more hollistic treatment than professor V's, or at the least recognizes the difficult decisions faced by school administrators.

(When it gets down to it, this seems an area where making a distinction between illegitimate "viewpoint" discrimination and legitimate Time-Place-Manner restrictions is always going to be difficult)