Should Supreme Court Justices serve lifelong terms?



The question of how long supreme court justices should serve come into question as it is seen that their political stances influence their decisions and are completely ignoring to make change on things that have been major issues for decades already.

Isabel Santamaria

The youngest Supreme Court Justice ever to serve, Joseph Story, was only 32 years old, over 200 years ago in 1812. Currently, the youngest Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, is 50 years old and one of the most controversial women in America. This is because she has politicized her career and jeopardized the future of the Supreme Court with it.

The Supreme Court is meant to be above and beyond any legal expectations and the justices are appointed for life. History teacher Bill Clark believes that the Supreme Court should remain untouched due to the original idea of the Court being above the law.

“If you put term limits upon the Court, then they are required to fulfill the term, but if they are appointed for life, they are above politics,” Clark said. “That’s the simple fact. They are appointed for life because politics should not be a factor in the judgment.”

However, it has become nearly impossible to ignore the increasing influence the Republican and Democratic parties have on the Supreme Court and its decisions. While politicians are arguing on the extremities of certain situations, our nation is turning back in time and changing formerly approved policies. The Supreme Court Justices are choosing to make federal decisions based on their political party’s views rather than their personal beliefs.

Although many are dedicated to bringing change to the way the Supreme Court functions, the United States has proven time and time again that they want to do anything but change.

Nevertheless, the youth of the U.S. are still battling bomb and gun threats in schools, the Black community is still racially profiled by the police and the gap between wealth and poverty remains astronomical. As the views of society change, our government needs to progress with us.

Many have grown increasingly uncomfortable with how the political parties and government have abused the court. As a result, they have negatively impacted every American life, whether they realize it or not. They have torn families, relationships and friendships apart over the simple answer of what political party they represent. Everyone gets that tinge of judgment when someone claims their political party is the one they disagree with.

Some may argue that shorter terms cause Supreme Court Justices to further politicize their careers since they will be running to be reelected for their next term. However, in recent years, it has been clear that politicians are using the Justices’ life-long terms to politicize the Court. Today, we have seen this with cases such as Roe v. Wade.

When former President Trump first nominated Barrett to fill in the big shoes Ruth Bader Ginsburg left behind, many marginalized communities — women, LGBTQ+, people of color — began to fear for their rights. Many saw how quickly this nomination was tearing the country – and even families – apart, due to Barrett’s political party affiliation. This nomination really pushed for change in the Supreme Court, especially with the younger population.

Sophomore Isabela Delgado of Freehold strongly disagrees with the political nature of the Supreme Court.

“The morals that the Supreme Court stands for are different than the younger generation, and things have evolved throughout society and the norms are different,” Delgado said. “Gen Z thinks of abortion one way and Boomers think of it the other, and Boomers are controlling the future outcome of the nation for the younger generation through things like the Supreme Court.”

The nine Supreme Court Justices hold extreme power over the lives of the American People, but they cannot function without the support of the American population. The political and social climate is changing. The legacy and history of the court should stand aside to allow it to evolve.