Nancy Pelosi calls for term limits for Supreme Court justices

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has endorsed term limits for Supreme Court justices following a series of ethical revelations about members of the High Court.

Pelosi in a interview published on Sunday told MSNBC host Jen Psaki that Supreme Court justices “have the ability to write ethics rules for themselves,” but she praised Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., who has been one of the most vocal Democratic critics of the Supreme Court.

“It is shameful how Justice Thomas and Justice Alito were so cavalier about their violations and what would be expected of a Supreme Court justice. Here we have a body, chosen for life, never to run for office, appointed, confirmed for life with no accountability for ethical behavior,” Pelosi said.

“Thirty percent seems high,” Pelosi said, referring to a recent Quinnipiac University poll that showed court approval had fallen to 30 percent.

The process of implementing term limits for Supreme Court justices is complicated. That would require a constitutional amendment, or Congress could pass legislation requiring judges to retire, take on “senior” status with lesser duties, or go before an appeals court.

Will Donald Trump debate his GOP rivals? Republicans are trying to pressure him

Pelosi’s comments come after Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito admitted last week that he had flown to Alaska on a fishing trip in a private jet in 2008 owned by a hedge fund manager who carried cases before the Supreme Court.

The reports on Alito come after a series of stories in ProPublica earlier this year that revealed private jet trips and yacht trips Judge Clarence Thomas accepted from GOP donor Harlan Crow. Crow also purchased property from Thomas and his family, none of which was reported on disclosure forms.

Chief Justice John Roberts said last month he was committed to ensuring the “highest standards of conduct” at the Supreme Court.

“We continue to look at the things we can do to deliver on that commitment,” Roberts said during a dinner at the American Law Institute.

Contributor: John Fritze, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi backs Supreme Court term limits after ethics revelations

Leave a Comment