John Adams on Life Tenure and Good Behavior
DLaycock at law.utexas.edu
Wed Jul 6 19:40:25 PDT 2005
In the op ed attached to his recent post, Scott Gerber quotes John Adams as saying that judges "should hold estates for life in their offices; or, in other words, their commissions should be during good behavior, and their salaries ascertained and established by law." Judges who misused their offices should be impeached by the "house of representatives . . . before the governor and council" and, "if convicted, should be removed."
Scott implies that this is from Adams's Thoughts on Government in 1776, but attribution is not perfectly clear; op eds do not separately footnote every sentence.
I hesitate to reopen a topic that has faded away, but where ever Adams said it, ithis seems to be a clear statement of equivalence between life tenure and good behavior in the usage of the time.
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