Ending the Judgeocracy

On the Corner, Mark Krikorian says we need to take advantage of the (rare) occasions, like the DC gun case, when liberals are angered by a judicial decision to enlist them in the effort to limit judicial power:

…if we’re ever going to have a chance of ending the Judgeocracy, we need to change the game altogether, to rein in the institution of the federal judiciary itself, not just try to get better judges and justices (as important as that is). And, since the Left usually likes what the judges come up with, we need to be prepared to pounce when there are high-profile decisions the Left hates, to find allies for institutional reforms.

Perhaps most feasible would be term limits for all federal judges — a single non-renewable term of, say, 11 or 13 or 15 years, then out. This would drain much of the poison from judicial nomination process, because it would no longer be for a lifetime appointment. Larry Sabato, no conservative, is only the most recent to suggest this, and if it could pass Congress, I think it would have a good chance in the state legislatures. But it could only get out of Congress if we have something ready to go, and we push it in the wake of decisions that we approve of —an argument against interest, as it were, at least superficially.

Good idea, in principle. But liberals know on what side their bread is buttered. They’re unlikely to try to limit the power of judges because that’s the only way they get their policies enacted. Even if they don’t like a decision here or there, they know that an unchecked judiciary is a net gain for them.

It would take a series–and I mean a looooong series–of pro-conservative decisions to get liberals to change their mind about this. And if there were enough conservative judges on the bench to make that much of a difference, conservatives probably wouldn’t be so interested in restricting the judiciary anymore.