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Over 50 advocacy organizations have joined forces to push for legislation limiting the terms of Supreme Court Justices.

Announcing their support, the coalition of 56 groups highlighted their endorsement for the TERM Act, an initiative spearheaded by Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA). This legislation, first introduced in 2022 and revisited the following year, proposes the establishment of 18-year term limits for both current and future Supreme Court justices.

The TERM Act, formally known as the Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act, managed to attract 28 co-sponsors in Congress last year, demonstrating a breadth of support from various organizations ranging from Accountable.US to Voices for Progress.

The rationale behind the TERM Act, as explained by Johnson, who serves as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, addresses the Supreme Court’s perceived “legitimacy crisis.” By introducing a system where a new justice is nominated every two years—specifically in the first and third years following a presidential election—the legislation aims to reduce the Court’s insulation and lack of accountability to the American populace, which Johnson argues is detrimental to democracy.

Despite the TERM Act’s initial failure to progress through committee in 2022, its reintroduction in 2023 was bolstered by Johnson’s argument of declining public trust in the Supreme Court, as indicated by Pew Research Center polling. The poll revealed that less than half of Americans (44%) now express a favorable opinion of the court, while a narrow majority (54%) have an unfavorable view.

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