A group of Democratic lawmakers plans to introduce legislation that would add four seats to the Supreme Court.
Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts are prepared to bring forth legislation on Thursday that would increase the number of justices on the high court from nine to 13.
“Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows,” Jones wrote in a Wednesday tweet. “To restore power to the people, we must #ExpandTheCourt.”
Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows.
To restore power to the people, we must #ExpandTheCourt.
— Rep. Mondaire Jones (@RepMondaire) April 15, 2021
Liberal activists, including Aaron Belkin, who helms Take Back the Court, and Chris Kang, a co-founder of Demand Justice, will join the Democrats during the announcement.
Brian Fallon, a former Senate Democratic aide and a co-founder of Demand Justice, a left-wing group dedicated to “packing” the Supreme Court, said the move was designed to strip the conservative majority created by three justices picked by former President Donald Trump.
“This bill marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans,” he said. “Our task now is to build a grassroots movement that puts pressure on every Democrat in Congress to support this legislation because it is the only way to restore balance to the court and protect our democracy.”
Such an effort would particularly struggle to get through the Senate unless Democrats are able to get rid of the filibuster, and even then, it’s not guaranteed they would have 50 votes to support expanding the Supreme Court. The upper chamber is split 50-50 between the parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris as a potential tiebreaker. Democrats narrowly control the House.
Last week, President Joe Biden ordered the creation of a commission on whether to expand the Supreme Court. Biden’s executive order calls for naming a 36-person group that will review the court’s history, precedent around changes to the nomination process, and will investigate the potential consequences of altering the court’s size.
A former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden has declined to say whether he supports efforts to reform the court, such as expanding the number of justices beyond its current nine members or instituting term limits. Justices currently serve lifetime appointments.
Author: Jake Dima
Source: Washington Examiner: Democrats ready legislation to add four seats to Supreme Court