A Thought on Judges Retiring

Article III Judges are appointed to their office for life. This is by entirely correct design and mandated in our Constitution: it’s to maximize the political independence of the judges in our court system.

Engraved above the west entrance to the Supreme Court Building is the promise Equal Justice Under Law. Not equal justice on the law, not equal justice under any particular law. Equal justice under law: equal justice under our system of laws. That’s not a binding promise, it’s an aspiration. Binding, though, is our Constitution, which aside from Order[ing] to form a more perfect Union, provides for that equal justice throughout the first 10 Amendments and makes that requirement for equality under law explicit in the 14th Amendment:

…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

All of that requires judges to be independent of politics.  We the People go further: all Article III judges must take an oath of office:

I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Support and defend our Constitution. Judges must bear true faith and allegiance to our Constitution, not to any political consideration or entity.

Supreme Court Justices take this additional oath:

I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.

There’s that equal justice under law bit, again, this time made binding. Again: it isn’t possible for a Justice to faithfully and impartially discharge or perform his duties if politics enter into his considerations.

Against that backdrop was a shocking degree of Leftist pressure on the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire while a Progressive-Democrat President was in office along with a Progressive-Democrat-controlled Senate so that a politically suitable replacement could be appointed to the Supreme Court. Now there is equally shocking Leftist pressure on Justice Stephen Breyer to retire right damn now so a sitting Progressive-Democrat President and a Progressive-Democrat-controlled Senate can appoint a politically acceptable replacement.

Politically acceptable. Not legally adept. Not judicially talented and skilled. Not qualified by extensive experience in law. Politically acceptable.

If our court systems are to maintain even a pretense of independence, if our legal system is to maintain even a pretense of determining justice in an even-handed way, rather than making politically acceptable decisions, judges at all levels must serve as long as they’re of sound mind and sound enough body, and they must retire only when they see fit rather than when it’s politically convenient to one party or another.

Sadly, Progressive-Democrats and their Leftist supporters insist on elevating their politics above justice.

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