- The Washington Times - Friday, October 15, 2021

President Biden on Friday said he’s opposed to term limits for Supreme Court Justices, an idea the commission he appointed to overhaul the nation’s largest court said was worth exploring.

When asked if he supported term limits for justices, Mr. Biden shot back, “No.” He didn’t elaborate further.

The commission on Thursday released roughly 200 pages of discussion materials. While the commission punted on the idea of expanding the number of court justices, it was more bullish on the idea of term limits.

Commission members said term limits would enjoy more bipartisan support in Congress. However, Congress is divided on whether term limits would be constitutional.

That has created concern among panel members, according to the report. Those who oppose term limits worry that the justices themselves would need to decide if such a proposal is constitutional, leading to concerns that any decision could undermine the court’s legitimacy.

But panel members who endorsed the idea dismissed such worries as “overblown,” saying it doesn’t pose a threat to the court’s legitimacy compared to other issues it has faced over the years.

“Some commissioners believe that term limits represent an appropriately calibrated solution to that problem and will help the court defend our democracy against actual or potential regress,” the panel said.

The commission is composed of liberal and centrist members who are expected to issue a final report Nov. 14 recommending changes to the high court.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Mr. Biden wouldn’t be commenting on the report until the final draft is submitted to him in November and he’s had a chance to review it.

On Thursday, Ms. Psaki downplayed the preliminary draft’s significance, calling it “an assessment, not a recommendation.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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