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GOP hopefuls talk SCOTUS term limits, other sweeping judicial reforms


Term limits for Supreme Court justices? A prohibition on the Court from hearing cases involving same-sex marriage? Abolishing the 9th Circuit altogether?

It’s election season, folks, and the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination are full of ideas about how to change the federal judiciary.

According to the New York Times, Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes the idea of allowing Supreme Court decisions to be overturned by a two-thirds vote of congress, as well as limiting the time justices can serve on the bench. In his book “Fed Up!,” Perry expresses a desire “to institute term limits on what are now lifetime appointments for federal judges, particularly those on the Supreme Court or the circuit courts, which have so much power.”


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Reps. Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul support limiting the federal courts’ ability to hear certain kinds of cases, such as those involving abortion or same-sex marriage.


Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum support disbanding the Circuit Court of Appeals. Santorum recent said at a Tea party event: “That court is rogue. It’s a pox on the western part of our country.”

Though the candidates say the proposals are designed to put the judicial system more in line with what the Founding Fathers envisioned, most of the proposals would require a constitutional amendment to implement, the Times reports.

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