Legal Research Makes Happy – Not

Today’s Education Guardian leads with a provocative statement:

Legal research, by tradition dreary and droning, is epitomised by the study Mental Decrepitude on the US Supreme Court. It is 93 pages of dreary, depressing documentation.

What’s it about – judicial retirement.

The issue of gaga judges seems to afflict the US Supreme Court, where lifelong tenure and the prospect of political pitched battles keeps judges sitting long after their best-by datesSee Supreme Court Senility or the even more provocative Slate piece on Chief Justice Rehnquist’s penchant for serious prescription drugs. Canadians will smile and remember Chief Justice Lyman Duff’s similar dependence on rye.

The provision for retirement at 75 in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867 (s. 99 (2) looks prescient, though one can see that with the fixed US election cycle, institutionalizing such a system in the US would be fraught with peril – anyone whose birthyear fell on a presidential election year would be less likely to be appointed than someone in the following year, but for those into the issue, here are the leads: TERM LIMITS FOR THE SUPREME COURT: Life Tenure Reconsidered,
WHEN SUPREME COURT JUSTICES REFUSE TO RETIRE: Why We Need More Media Coverage, And A Constitutional Amendment and
Politicized Departure from the United States Supreme Court

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