Now liberals dislike the Robert’s Supreme Court because of its conservative leanings. Before the conservatives hated the Warren Supreme Court because it was too liberal. Personally I would like to see the Constitution amended to give justices just an 8 or 10 year term. I think appointments for life are not in the best interest of our country. Originally the forefathers thought life time appointments would free the justices of any political influence. In practice that recently has not happened. Both Scalia and Thomas have attended Republican events other than as speakers and Thomas’s wife has served as chairwoman of certain right wing political lobbying groups. Certainly something the forefathers would not have approved of.
When the Constitution was framed the life span was much shorter. Anyone who had acquired the acumen to be considered for the Supreme Court probably would not have much more than 10 years left to live.
The real problem is that the Chief Justice will not reprimand Justices like Scalia and Thomas. Nor is he willing to entertain mandatory judicial ethics for his court.
This speaks volumes about the short-comings of a system of lifetime appointments in the Federal judiciary. Term limits are an absolute necessity. It is apparent that there also needs to be some control of these judges through ethics accountability. Over the recent past, Scalia has on numerous occasions spoken in front of groups that have records as domestic terrorists and have been pursued in court by the ACLU and the SPLC. Scalia has refused to recuse himself from cases in which he has obvious conflicts of interest, claiming the highly unlikely case that he can hear ANY case objectively, regardless of his entanglements with to opponents.
There are impeachment-like procedures available to to rid us of those who do not exemplify “good behavior”. At this point in time, political lockstep is not considered bad behavior.
Life time tenure simply gives them the opportunity to show some real class, like John Marshall, or a complete lack of class, like Roger Taney. If nothing else, it makes the institution interesting.