Democrats propose bill to expand Supreme Court, but Pelosi formulates it
“The Republicans have stolen the majority of the court, with Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation ending their frenzy of crime,” Massachusetts Democrat Senator Edward J. Markey, godfather of the law, said in a statement. “Senate Republicans politicized the Supreme Court, undermined its legitimacy, and threatened the rights of millions of Americans, especially people of color, women, and our immigrant communities.”
Legislation is unlikely to evolve even with Congress in the hands of Democrats. With the filibuster in place, he doesn’t stand a chance in the Senate, where he is strongly opposed by Republicans who say Democrats are trying to “pack” the court for a partisan advantage. And even before her supporters spoke on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi categorically rejected the measure, saying she had “no intention of speaking it.”
Pelosi said she preferred the approach taken by President Biden, who last week created a new commission to study the matter and ordered it to report within six months on potential changes to the court.
“The president is taking the right approach to have a commission to study such a thing,” Pelosi told reporters. “It’s a big step forward. This is not out of the question. It has already been done.
The bill’s champions hope to use it to generate more support for a possible overhaul.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said it made sense to expand the tribunal given its complex workload and the growth of the federal judicial system since the composition of the High Court was last amended in 1869. The size of the court is fixed by law, not by the Constitution, and it was amended several times in the early days of the nation.
“Nine judges may have made sense in the 19th century, when there were only nine circuits and many of our most important federal laws – covering everything from civil rights to antitrust to the internet. , financial regulation, health care, immigration and white collar crime – simply did not exist and did not require a Supreme Court ruling, ”said Nadler, another sponsor of the bill. “But the logic behind having only nine judges is much weaker today, when there are 13 circuits.”
Biden has been dismissive in the past about calls to expand the court. But it became a major issue in the presidential primaries, and his promise to create a commission to explore the idea was his way of avoiding taking a final stand on the issue. The commission is not expected to make a recommendation on what to do, but rather to gather information on the implications of expanding the tribunal or imposing term limits on the judges who serve. now for life.
Republicans strongly reject the idea. A group of House Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment setting the composition of the tribunal at nine judges. And the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group, launched on Thursday what it said was a million-dollar advertising campaign criticizing Biden for exploring a change in the composition of the tribunal after resisting the idea for years.