America has had nine justices on the Supreme Court since 1869, but now that conservatives hold a 6 to 3 majority some Democratic lawmakers and liberal groups say it’s out of balance and needs to be fixed.
“The Court’s illegitimate far-right majority installed through hyper-partisan political schemes will put even settled precedence on our rights at risk,” warned Demand Justice, a liberal group that’s running ads urging lawmakers to adopt a Democratic bill to pack the court with extra liberal justices.
President Biden’s not a fan of packing the court, but he announced the commission to study expanding and altering the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, 36 members of the commission met for the first time virtually to discuss reforming the high court.
The commission, made up of dozens of scholars and activists, mostly liberal and some conservatives, met to lay the groundwork for the group’s agenda. “We definitely have our work cut out for us,” said Cristina Rodriguez, the commission’s co-chair.
The idea of expanding the number of justices has been getting the most attention.
“We plan to look, as others have indicated, not only at current proposals but also proposals about membership and size that have been floated at other times in American history,” Nancy Gertner, a former U.S. Federal Judge, told the panel.
The commission will also explore if Congress has the power to reverse Supreme Court rulings and whether justices should serve on the bench for life.
“We are going to look at the justices’ length of service and how frequently the court’s membership should turnover and this is going to include proposals for term limits and mandatory retirement,” said Olatunde Johnson, a professor at Columbia Law School.
Conservatives have blasted Biden’s proposal to overhaul the high court.
After all, Biden in 1982 said packing the court was a “bonehead idea”.
“There’s not a problem on the court, the only problem is that the left has for years relied upon the judiciary to do its bidding,” Tony Perkins of Family Research Council told CBN’s Faith Nation program.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBN’s Abigail Robertson that all that changed when President Trump put three conservatives judges on the bench.
“The goal of the liberal left is to stack it with liberals to undercut the conservative majority that all of us have worked so hard to obtain through the right process,” Graham told CBN News.
The group will hold several more meetings over the next six months before giving the president their analysis.