changes to democracy

Would you support term limits for Supreme Court justices?

Yes

Yes, supports

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. "I am for an 18-year term limit for Supreme Court justices," Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. O'Rourke’s voting rights plan calls for a constitutional amendment that would include “18-year terms for the Supreme Court, after which the justices would be permitted to serve on the federal courts of appeals.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. "When the nation was founded, life expectancy was much shorter, and justices would also frequently step down from the Court to pursue other endeavors. That’s no longer the case," Yang told The Post. "I’d support 18-year term limits, staggered every two years, so that each president would be guaranteed the appointment of two justices per term served. Seats vacated for other reasons could be filled through the current mechanism."

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Open to it

Open to it

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. “It has piqued my mind,” Bennet told The Daily Beast. “We are now in a situation where, at least for the immediate future and maybe forever, we are going to put people on the Court by the barest partisan majority. We will have to have a president and the Senate from the same party [for a nominee to be confirmed]. That is an incredible distortion in our system and it hasn’t been the way it’s worked until now.” Term limits “could be an answer to it,” he said.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. "I think we need to fix the Supreme Court," Booker said on MSNBC. "I think I would like to start exploring a lot of options and we should have a national conversation. Term limits for Supreme Court justices might be one thing — to give every president the ability to choose three."

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. "Potentially. But it’s not a cure all because it creates some problems too," Buttigieg told the Intercept.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro is open to Supreme Court term limits, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand has called adding Supreme Court justices, or imposing term limits on them, “interesting ideas that I would have to think more about.”

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” Harris told Politico. “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. "Mitch McConnell destroyed Americans’ faith in the Supreme Court to be fair and representative body by stealing a seat from Barack Obama and refusing to give Merrick Garland even a hearing. We must be thoughtful and considerate about any changes to the Supreme Court, but we also need to restore Americans’ faith in the court and restore the balance that McConnell broke. I'm open to any ideas and discussion on how to reset that balance."

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak is open to Supreme Court term limits, he told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. Steyer is open to Supreme Court term limits, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. "[Republicans] changed the rules of the filibuster to steal a Supreme Court seat and have stuffed our courts to the brim with judges hostile to voting rights" Warren told The Post. "If Republicans are going to try to block us on key legislation or judges that we’re trying to move forward, then you better believe all the options are on the table."

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

No

No, does not support

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden does not support term limits for judges, he told the New York Times editorial board.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. Bullock does not support Supreme Court term limits, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper would not support term limits for Supreme Court justices, he told The Post.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. Ryan does not support term limits for Supreme Court justices, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. Swalwell told The Post he wouldn’t consider it. “I don’t want to let these extraordinary times that President Trump has created lead us to too many extraordinary remedies, or for ideas like these to be alibis for failures to win and hold governing majorities,” he said.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson does not support term limits for Supreme Court justices, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. Bloomberg did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. De Blasio did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. According to CBS News, Klobuchar's priority is getting fair and qualified judges through the existing system. Her campaign has not clarified her stance on term limits for Supreme Court justices.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. Moulton did not provide an answer to this question.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. Patrick did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Deval Patrick
Patrick

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. "I have to hear more discussion on this issue before commenting," Sanders told The Post. He seemingly referenced the proposal during the first Democratic debate, saying ”... I do believe that constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

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Background This idea would establish a set number of years that a justice would be allowed to sit on the Supreme Court.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether it supports various changes to the Senate filibuster, U.S. elections and courts. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.