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Research Lifetime Appointment of Federal Judges - Essay Example

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A federal judge, as pertains to article 3 of the US constitution, is one who is appointed by the president after which he or she is vetted and confirmed by the Senate before he can proceed to perform activities as a Judge (Carpenter 23). With regard to this article, these judges are guaranteed life time tenure of office, meaning that they can hold such office until their time of death…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, they can decide on their own to resign or retire whenever they feel the need to do so. The security of tenure provided for by article 3 of the constitution, was informed by the need to ensure that the judiciary is independent and free from political interference (Federal Judicial Center n.d). It goes without saying that if the judges were subjected to a situation whereby the appointing authority has the capacity to terminate their employment at will, it would be extremely difficult for them to dispense justice without favoritism. This is especially when they are called to make judgment on matters that have a political dimension and where the issues are touching on the party affiliated to the appointing authority. In this context, they would be easily compelled to rule in favor of their boss’s interests so as to avoid being removed from office. The dilemma in making such a decision is that in a democratic society such as the US, the opposition may come to win elections in the future to form the government and if the leaders have had problems with some of the judicial officers, they may take this opportunity to remove them and replace them with friendlier ones. Security of tenure ensures that these judges are not affected by such a change, which has the capacity to ruin their lives especially from the financial perspective. In addition, it is a well known fact that experience in any field of service is acquired through long time participation. Opponents of lifetime employment of federal judges argue that having a limited term creates opportunity for introducing new members, probably younger, to the judiciary, who have the capacity to bring new and fresh ideas, which would help build more jurisprudence as they would be more conversant with current trends and issues affecting the society (Carpenter 73). In this context, the opponents insinuate that judges, who have served for a long time, for example 20 years, may tend to take a conservative approach, while interpreting the law, to issues brought before them. On the contrary, being old does not necessarily mean that one loses his or her cognitive abilities and therefore is no reason for one to be discriminated in the work place. They still have the potential to serve the people, who really need their expertise and experience in law. On the other hand, it does not escape the minds of opponents that old age inhibits timely delivery of services as aged people tend to succumb to fatigue at a faster rate than young people. In the judiciary, the consequence of this fatigue is an impediment to justice as it may result to backlog of cases in the courts. Mental debilitation and dementia also becomes an obstacle for a person to think or remember important aspects of law, which may lead to the making of irrelevant judgments (Federal Judicial Center n.d). For example, Justice William Douglas of the Supreme Court failed to acknowledge his inability to make healthy contributions after he suffered a debilitating stroke and anosognosia in 1975, even after his colleagues on the bench voted to bar him from participating and disqualifying any decisions he made (Carpenter 36). This shows that life tenure of office by judges gives ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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