Biden to Sign Executive Order Forming Commission to Explore Expansion of the Supreme Court
Do you support or oppose expanding the Supreme Court?
What’s the story?
- The White House announced that President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Friday to form a commission that will analyze the merits and legality of proposals to expand or otherwise reform the Supreme Court.
- The 36-member “Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States” includes former federal judges, lawyers who’ve argued before the Court, in addition to reform advocates. The White House explained the commission’s purview in its press release:
“The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”
- The commission will hold public hearings that include other experts and groups with a variety of perspectives and is directed to complete its report within 180 days of its first public meeting. It will be chaired by Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, and Cristina Rodriguez, who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Obama administration.
- Biden’s position on expanding the Supreme Court has evolved over the course of his political career. While he was the lead Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden said court packing was a “bonehead idea” that would undermine the Court’s integrity.
- After launching his presidential campaign in 2019, Biden said Democrats would “rue the day” they pursue it. Over the course of his campaign, Biden began to dodge questions on the issue and tried to avoid answering the question prior to the election. Less than two weeks before the election, Biden relented and committed to forming a commission on the issue to placate Democrats who were calling for the Court to be expanded and packed with liberal justices who could overwhelm the Court’s current 6-3 conservative majority.
- Two of the most prominent Supreme Court justices who are considered to be liberals to serve in recent memory have expressed opposition to expanding the Court beyond nine justices for the purposes of packing it with justices to suit the political desire of the party in power.
- Prior to her death, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told NPR that “nine seems to be a good number” of justices and “it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.” Ginsburg added:
“If anything would make the Court look partisan, it would be that ― one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.’”
- This Tuesday, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke for two hours at Harvard Law School to warn against court packing efforts and said he hoped to “make those whose instincts may favor important structural change or other similar institutional change, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before they embody those changes in law.” Breyer said:
“If the public sees judges as politicians in robes, its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a check on other branches…
I hope and expect that the Court will retain its authority. But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the Court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”
- Liberal groups advocating for court packing are also urging Breyer, who will turn 83 this August, to retire from the Supreme Court. A group called Demand Justice commissioned a billboard truck to circle the Supreme Court which has the following messages:
“Breyer, retire. It’s for a Black woman Supreme Court justice. There’s no time to waste.”
“Breyer, retire. Don’t risk your legacy.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Biden: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons | Supreme Court: timsackton via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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When Biden is signing ‘Executive Orders’ you know it’s a bad deal from the get-go. This man is slowly SINGLEHANDEDLY destroying America! Why is his party allowing all this craziness?!?
Apparently Biden hasn’t learned about his ‘continued’ failures while in office. I swear this man is on cloud nine. Be careful what you wish for Democrats! What goes around, comes around.
Is this a not-so-covert attempt at court packing? I do not know. Court packing was wrong when FDR attempted it and it was appropriately rejected. Perhaps Democrats forget the 16 years of liberal domination by the Warren Court. I am pretty certain, had a Republican majority called for a commission to examine expanding the court with the hidden motive of court packing, Democrats would have cried bloody murder. It is time for our Congress on both sides of the aisle to stop attempting to legislate from the judicial bench.
Why not our world is changing so we're surroundings and we're changing so the system has to change.
I strongly oppose increasing the number of Supreme Court Judges beyond the current nine. Even the late Judge Ginsburg said “If anything would make the Court look partisan, it would be that ― one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.’”
The Court is what it is you don't get to add positions that will lean towards your agenda, they are supposed to be independent and your packing it so they will see your laws against the constitution especially the 2nd amendment is treaded on. Sorry Joe the Constitution is a guarantee and that's why the fourth fathers wrote it up
This is a big mistake we won’t get as many decisions as we would like on both sides but hypothetically let’s pretend that conservatives wanted to get rid of the liberal justices And we just whittled it down to the people that we liked the same could be said if liberals try to limit conservatives that would drive everybody insane
Normally I would oppose this kind of manipulation, but give the GOP Senate’s shenanigans in the Garland and subsequent Coney Barrett appointment, something needs to be done. SCOTUS does not represent the will of the people and that is all that matters in American Democracy. It is ridiculous to use 18th Century legal reasoning when dealing with issues that the Founding Fathers could not even fathom especially when the true intent is to maintain the power of a fading minority.
This is only a power move by the Dems to control the country. The number of justices has worked for 150 years. It doesn't need to be changed.
In order to get some balance back in the SCOTUS, we need a minimum on four more Justices to reduce the adverse influence on American jurisprudence resulting from the three far right appointments of the tRump administration.
Why do people think that the Garland situation was so unique? As if Democrats wouldn't do exactly the same thing if they were in the same situation. Even the beknighted darling of the Democratic party, former Justice Ruth Bater Ginsberg was very clear that messing with the numbers on the Supreme Court was a terrible mistake and should not be done. Partly, the reasons for both parties having so much strife over SCOTUS is that people seem to have forgotten its role. Many of the opinions of the Court have been treated as though they were Law. That is not the role of the Court. The role of the Court is to offer an opinion. Not a law. Not a "ruling." An opinion. The Executive and Legislative branches can then either take that opinion into consideration or not. But that's not how we treat it today. Just because the Roe v Wade opinion was that Jane Roe should have had legal access to terminate her pregnancy, that opinion (now treated as Law) was about that one case in that one set of circumstances. Many states had (and still have) laws that make abortion illegal. Just because a handful of unelected people in robes said that this should be allowed, that does not make it law. Yet we treat it that way.
There are 13 Circuit courts, so there should logically be 13 Justices on the SCOTUS. The number of SCOTUS seats is never set in stone on the US Constitution!
Balance is the key word here! Right now there is no balance. We know that the Supreme is to be unbiased, and base all decisions on law and what our Constitution says, they aren't all doing that. If it were true, then the Michigan GOP wouldn't keep taking our VOTE to end gerrymandering and using an independent committee to redistrict this State to court over and over in the hopes that they will get a biased Judge. All Judges must be reminded that "Poor Behavior" (making decisions not based on law or the Constitution) can get them impeached and removed from their Judicial position.
Let SCOTUS alone. Stop trying to politicize it just to get votes in favor of you absurd far left wing addenda.
There have been nine members on the Supreme Court for decades. The Supreme Court was not intended to be political. The purpose this administration has in packing the Supreme Court is to ensure the progressive policies will be enforced, rather than recognizing established law. The liberal politicians will be pushing their agenda through as quickly as possible, only looking to their own power.
This is the type of short-sighted, unilateral and reactionary political move that will destroy our already fractured system of checks and balances. What stop’s the next conservative leaning President from doing the exact same thing? How many justices are too many?
To change the Supreme Court will forever be causing the court to be useless! Biden's administration and all the Democrats are furious that Trump got to put 3 Conservative judges on the court. They want to use the court to be their back-up to cement their most liberal laws they can pass. Changing the court when the Democrats don't like the makeup of the court is NOT the answer and every president will then feel the same way and we will have a court that no longer is effective as they add judges who will deliver the decisions they find politically acceptable!
I was appalled when the GOP stifled Garland for SCOTUS. There was already one sexual predator on the Court and they put another one. I am not a Democrat, either.
Supreme Court Justices are supposed to protect the rights of the people in our country by protecting our Constitution, and I believe in the right for people to have equal protection under the law. While we still have a long way to go to improve our system of government, there should be no tolerance for a court that might side with a conservative point of view over a liberal point of view. There must be a balance within the Supreme Court to ensure that does not happen. We cannot wait until something goes wrong so I think a committee to study the effects of increasing the number of Supreme Court Justices to get a balance might be the way to proceed. After all, the Constitution is neither conservative nor liberal and the Supreme Court should be responsible for making unbiased Decisions always.
What happened to it being a Boneheaded move Mr Bonehead!!