BIDEN COURT PACKING UPDATE
Much of the debate surrounding the Supreme Court has grown out of the meetings of the Biden Commission on the Supreme Court. This 36-member group, which Biden announced he would create during the 2020 Campaign, is tasked to analyze and present potential so-called “reforms” to the United States Supreme Court. Jen Psaki has pitched the Commission’s task as “an assessment rather than a recommendation.” In reality, it appears the Commission is an attempt by the left attempt to create momentum and cover for the left to politically attack and take over the Supreme Court and, therefore, all U.S. Courts that fall under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Psaki’s explanation should not cause us to underestimate the impact of this report. Several Democrats in the Senate have announced that the commission’s recommendations and assessments will impact and determine their stance on the Court-Packing issue. The most recent commission meeting was held on October 15, 2021, and the final report will not be “sent” to the White House until November. Draft reports have been published on the commission’s website.
The overall sentiment of the drafts is unfavorable towards expanding the court. It weighs and debates the merits of the idea, but acknowledges that,
“The risks of Court expansion are considerable, including that it could undermine the very goal of some of its proponents of restoring the Court’s legitimacy. Recent polls suggest that a majority of the public does not support Court expansion.”
While overall unfriendly to the idea of expanding the court, there is an alternate mechanism outlined in the drafts. In Section III, C. of the draft report titled Membership and Size of the Court, the commission discusses the possibility of expanding the court gradually. The commission acknowledges that this approach may only continue to harm the process of confirming justices due to the stakes facing each additional nominee.
Since the publication of the draft reports, two conservative members of the commission have resigned. To my knowledge, no public explanation was provided for these noteworthy resignations.
Behind the public spectacle of the Presidential Commission, Congress continues to consider the issue. Since April 15, 2021, Democrats have been discussing legislation to expand the size of the court. There are two pieces of legislation that deal with this issue, S. 1141, sponsored by Senator Ed Markey and H.R. 2584, sponsored by Representatives Hank Johnson, Jerold Nadler, and Mondaire Jones. As of October 22, 2021, S. 1141 has gained Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) as a cosponsor (with two Senate sponsors); H.R. 2584 has gained 11 cosponsors since then, totaling 37 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.
The most likely reason for the increase in co-sponsorships is due to the pending ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Through Dobbs, the conservative majority rightly threatens Roe’s creation of a non-textual “right to abortion;” this has ignited judicial activists to increasingly call for the packing of the United States Supreme Court.
The antithesis of the “Court Packing” Judiciary Act is the Keep Nine Amendment. The House’s version, H.J.Res.11, is sponsored by Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD). Initially, the legislation had 173 Republican co-sponsors, it has since gained five bringing the number to 178 Republican co-sponsors. The Senate companion bill, S.J.Res 9 sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) remains at 20 Republican cosponsors.
While the left’s court-packing scheme does not presently have the automatic green light progressives sought, the debate remains alive in the halls of Congress and the White House. The attack on the integrity of the Supreme Court has minority support within the majority party of both houses of congress. Yet, not one Republican has signed on.
It is imperative that our resources be dedicated to unifying support around the Keep Nine Amendment and increasing the public’s awareness on the necessity to urge your representatives to cosponsor H.J.Res.11 and senators to likewise cosponsor S.J.Res.9. Accomplishing this goal will preserve the integrity of our courts and ensure that the Judiciary Act is remembered in history as a waste of paper that never received a hearing.
Let your House Representative and Senators know what you think. Call the Capitol switchboard to reach their offices: (202) 224-3121.
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