Justice Breyer says he could support certain SCOTUS term limits

Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer doesn’t oppose the idea of U.S. Supreme Court term limits, providing that they would be lengthy.

Someone asked Breyer about 18-year term limits for U.S. Supreme Court members while he was speaking Thursday at an Association of American Law Schools conference, the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports.

“If it’s a long term … I’d say that was fine,” said Breyer, who is 77 years old and took his seat on the Supreme Court in August 1994. “In fact, it would make my life simpler.”

Given that the change would require a Constitutional amendment, Breyer noted at the Manhattan conference, “it’s not on the front burner” for him.

Breyer also shared that he thinks that taking into consideration the purpose and consequences of a ruling is as valid as considering the case’s history, tradition and related legal precedent. According to Breyer, Justice Antonin Scalia disagrees, and thinks that approach could cause disrespect toward the court.

Breyer discussed his new book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, at the event.

“There are a lot more cases in the Supreme Court that require us to know something about what’s going on beyond our shores,” he said.

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