Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

A Trout in the Milk

Senate Judiciary Committee , Supreme Court, hearings, term limits, Neil Gorsuch

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. Talk about a silly rite. Senators repeatedly fired questions about specific legal views that no High Court nominee ever answers.

Why not? Because to answer would be to pre-judge possible future cases.

That didn’t prevent displays of faux-outrage from committee Democrats, though. “You have been very much able to avoid any specificity,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) criticized, “like no one I have ever seen before.”

In Washington, isn’t that a compliment?

Into this kabuki theater, Republicans added their own inanity. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) inquired of Gorsuch, “What’s the largest trout you’ve ever caught?”

So that is how to determine whether to confirm someone for a lifetime position.

But even a lifetime doesn’t beat Congress. Elected every two years in the House or six years in the Senate, congresspersons often rack up longer tenure than do justices appointed for life.

The longest serving justice in our history was William O. Douglas, who spent nearly 37 years on the High Court. But if Douglas had spent that epoch in Congress, he wouldn’t place first, but 80th.

In fact, three Judiciary Committee members — Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch — have already served longer than any High Court justice in American history.

Interestingly, of the 20 longest serving justices, half served before 1900. Conversely, all of the 20 longest continuously serving members of Congress served after 1900.

Careerism in Congress beats lifetime tenure.

It’s time for term limits.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

Printable PDF


By: CS Admin


  1. JFB says:

    Most interesting facts but the dear senior senators will argue they must stand for re-election ever 6 years for the term of their imperium.
    While I support term limits, they are not much of an answer.. We need to get to the core of the problem and make them moot.
    To control government there must be power and revenue limits.
    We must return to the initial intent of the Constitution which was to limit the power and revenue sources allowed the federal government.
    The allowed functions of the federal government must be specifically limited to the enumerated powers by amendment stating the powers specifically enumerated must be “interpreted” to be as they were understood at their ratification, and that they are not subject to judicial expansion, that there are not additional implied powers as later or yet to be “found”. Further that the Supreme Court is limited by the Constitution as well and its primary function is as was originally intended, to limit the powers of the federal government and preserve the rights of other parties to it as a contract between the federal government, the States and the citizens..
    There must be a balanced budget amendment to be administered on normal, not governmental, accounting standards. An amendment must mandate that the federal government, and all of its personnel and elected officials, cannot be exempted from but are subject to the same laws and limited to the same benefits as imposed or granted the citizens..
    There must be a constitutional requirement necessitating any future obligations must be funded with a actuarially sound amount in the period the liability is incurred, and there shall be no obligation for further funding should there be a “shortfall”..
    Additionally, all programs or repeals are to be priced, funded or defunded, before passage. The price must be expressed in dollar terms, and as a percentage of either a flat income tax or, better (in my opinion), a percentage of a flat value added tax (either, but not both) which would be the ONLY constitutionally permissible form of federal taxation. Further the effective date or commencement, of all new programs would be at the beginning of the next fiscal period and simultaneous with imposition of the effective tax rate for the period.which, if it is the value added tax, must be listed as a separate item on the receipt. Finally there must be a limit, cap, on the maximum percentage of the GDP that the federal government may command.
    All of the above to be enshrined in constitutional amendment(s) so as not to be subject to the whims of congress or the courts.
    States and local governments would be free to do as they wish, subject to the limitations imposed by their constituents and the competitive market for them. .
    Adopt the above and you will significantly decrease the need for term limits for, as everyone knows, rodents actually relocate on their own when the food source is exhausted..

  2. Paul Jacob says:

    Good points. Let’s do all of those things. But we may first need term limits to begin to reverse the trend and the drive (lust) for power.

    The job of congressman has gotten to be a very plum and cushy assignment. In centuries past, folks would leave Congress because they could not enrich themselves. Now they can. Let’s push to limit ALL OF THE ABOVE.

    We need term limits, spending limits, no pension, limits on their pay, etc., etc.

    • JFB says:

      I will push for term limits.

      Career legislators’ longevity is compounded by the seniority system for assignments in the legislative branch. High seniority legislators are seen by the state and national party organizations, both sides, as a major power advantage because it is true. There is a real reason to support the incumbents and encourage career legislators
      Perhaps a “reverse seniority” assignment system should be among the proposals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top