Thursday, February 25, 2021,
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February 25, 2021
2/25/21 7:00 pm
Virtual –
Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School

Moderated by Associate Professor of Sociology and Goldfarb Faculty Associate Director Christel Kesler and Goldfarb Student Executive Board Co-chair Andrew Ordentlich ’22

In just four years, President Trump appointed three Supreme Court Justices, creating a significant ideological shift on the bench by cementing a 6-3 conservative majority for many years to come. This, along with the death of the legendary Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, brought renewed attention and debate on term limits vs. lifetime appointments for the high court. While lifetime appointments were designed to ensure justices can be an independent branch of government, would term limits lead to less partisan politics over vacancies and help preserve the legitimacy and independence of the court?

All are welcomed to join the Goldfarb Center virtually for our 2021 Cotter Debate to explore this topic with two top experts in the field of constitutional law. Suzanna Sherry, the Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University of Law, will discuss the merits of lifetime appointments. The opposing view will be argued by Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert a. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, who recently authored "Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court" (2020). His latest book has a chapter on term limits and discusses Professor Sherry’s provocative article, Our Kardashian court (and How to Fix it), on the need to decelebrify the court.

Public event