As the Supreme Court ponders the recent oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the national discussion of Obamacare will continue to be heated. This discussion will shift from various opinions to what should be the result of the case. The most worrisome of these points will be made by people discussing the politics of the justices, rather than case’s merits. With this in mind, we must ask if the time has come to rethink lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary.
The favorite argument for lifetime appointments tends to begin with looking to Federalist No. 78 and quoting Alexander Hamilton:
This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovation in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community.
There are, however, a couple of points that should be noted here.