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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, February 27, 2023

The Founding Fathers Greatest Error? Lifetime Appointments to the Federal Judiciary!

By Rich Kozlovich

How many Founding Fathers were there?  There were 115 Founding Fathers.  Shocked me also.  I ask this because I read the article, by Andrea Widburg, Biden is establishing radical leftist, anti-Constitution control over the federal judiciary, and commented on the need for a 28th Amendment, and listed what should be in it saying:

It's time to fix the one really big error made by the Founding Fathers, lifetime tenure of the federal judiciary. It's time to pass a 28th Amendment creating age and term limits for the federal judiciary, and if possible, all federally elected officials. If we can't have both, at least get age and term limits for the federal judiciary.

There are three levels of the federal judiciary- the District level, the Appeals level and the Supreme Court. Each level should have a ten year limit with a review after five years requiring a majority approval by the Senate. At each level each nominee would have to go through the same process, even if nominated to a higher court before they finish their term in a lower court. If their term runs out and they’re not nominated to a higher court they may be nominated at some point in the future.

No jurist can return to a lower court if their term runs its course at a higher level, and no jurist can ever be appointed to a court if their nomination to any court has ever been rejected by the Senate. No jurist may serve after the age of seventy. And make 9 Justices a Constitutionally fixed number to avoid the kind of court packing Joe Biden and the Democrats are attempting to do.

Pass this 28th Amendment, repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments, and everything else will fall into place.

A reader came back saying:  

It wasn't really an error when average lifespan was less than 40.

Well, depending on the situation, I'm not impressed with average lifespan arguments because average lifespan is misleading.  Well up into the 20th century Child mortality was high. My grandmother had seven children and two died before the age of three from pneumonia.  So while he was right about the "average" lifespan, normally, the lifespan was, and is, the "Biblical four score and ten", and a lot of people lived that long. However, as I said, his argument intrigued me so I took some time to find out how long the Founding Fathers lived, all 115 of them.

Many of the Founding Fathers lived long lives, however, two died in their thirties, the youngest 30 dying at sea.

  • 15 died in their forties. 
  • 24 died in their fifties.
  • 37 died in the sixties,. 
  • 20 died in their seventies.
  • 12 died in the eighties.
  •  4 died in their nineties,  the oldest being 96. 

Their average life span is rounded off at 64. 

  • If you eliminate all those who died in their thirties, forties and fifties, that leaves 74 Founding Fathers with an average life span of 73. 
  • If you eliminate those who died in their sixties, that leaves 37 with an average lifespan rounded off at 77.  
  • If you eliminate those who died in their seventies, that leaves 16 with a rounded off lifespan of 86. 

As I said, his argument intrigued me, however, in none of the arguments presented in the Continental Congress for or against lifetime appointments, was life span ever bought up. The argument was all about unbridled power.  

That was the argument.  That was the issue, and it was fought vigorously, and the arguments used by those who fought against lifetime appointments were absolutely prescient.    It's time to put age and term limits on the federal judiciary. 

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