When the Founders set out to create the federal court system, James Madison and his colleagues ultimately settled on a system designed to insulate judges from the political arena, so that they could not be coerced into compliance with a political agenda by threats of arbitrary termination, or of financial manipulation. As such, Article III of the Constitution currently states that federal judges “shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.” U.S. Const., Art. III, § 1. Both guarantees are absolutely vital to the independence of the federal bench, as all five conservative justices of the Supreme Court recently explained, per Chief Justice Roberts. See Stern v. Marshall, slip op. at 17-18 (pdf).
But no longer, in Rick Perry’s America. Perry today called for term-limits for all federal judges, pledging to (functionally) abrogate an element of the Constitution that dates to the Declaration of Independence (see ¶ 11, “He has made Judges…”). So much for Tea Partier “respect” for the Constitution.