Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Biden forms panel to study possible U.S. Supreme Court expansion

PoliticsApr 09, 2021 06:05PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington 2/2

By Andrew Chung and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Friday formed a bipartisan commission to study potential U.S. Supreme Court changes including expanding the number of justices beyond the current nine, a goal of some liberal Democrats hoping to end its conservative majority.

Under an executive order signed by the Democratic president, the 36-member commission will consider the "merits and legality" of potential reforms to the nation's top judicial body including adding justices or imposing term limits on their service instead of the current lifetime appointments.

The number of Supreme Court justices has remained at nine since 1869, but Congress has the power to change the number and did so several times before that. Imposing term limits would likely require a constitutional amendment, though some scholars have proposed ways to accomplish it by statute.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the commission will represent the full political spectrum. It will include liberal and conservative legal scholars, former federal judges and lawyers who have appeared before the court. It will hold public meetings and have 180 days to report its findings.

Biden promised in October, late in the presidential election campaign, to establish the commission - a step that enabled him to avoid taking a firm position on the proposal floated by some liberals to expand the court, though he has opposed the idea in the past.

Republicans fiercely oppose the idea of what is sometimes called "court packing." Some Democrats and liberal activists have said all options including expansion must be considered to counter an entrenched conservative majority that could threaten abortion rights, civil rights, gun control and access to healthcare in the coming years.

Republican former President Donald Trump was able to appoint three justices during his four years in office, giving the court a 6-3 conservative majority.

Democrats accused Republicans of "stealing" a Supreme Court seat in 2016 when the Senate, then controlled by Republicans, refused to consider Democratic President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Senate Republicans at the time, led by then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said it would be inappropriate to confirm a justice during a presidential election year. Their gambit paved the way for Trump in 2017 to replace Scalia with another conservative, Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Democrats accused Republicans of hypocrisy last year when the Senate quickly confirmed Trump's appointment of conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett a week before the presidential election after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the prior month.

Calling it a "faux-academic study of a non-existent problem," McConnell blasted Biden's commission as a political attack on the court.

"It's just an attempt to clothe those ongoing attacks in fake legitimacy," McConnell said.

McConnell played a pivotal role in helping Trump move the Supreme Court and the broader federal judiciary rightward by making Senate confirmation of judicial appointments a paramount priority.

The court's oldest member is liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, 82. If Breyer retires this year, as liberal activists have urged him to do, Biden would make his first appointment to the high court. Biden has promised to name a Black woman, which would be a historic first. But replacing a liberal with a liberal would not change the court's ideological balance.

Psaki said Biden "believes that's a decision for Justice Breyer to make when he decides it is no longer time to serve on the Supreme Court."

In a speech at Harvard Law School on Tuesday, Breyer indicated that changes to the court could undermine its authority. The court, Breyer said, depends on "trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics."

Some liberal activists on Friday demanded immediate action to expand the court.

"Adding seats is the only way to restore balance to the court, and Congress should get started right away," said Aaron Belkin, who heads the liberal group Take Back the Court.

The last attempt to expand the court was a failed effort in the 1930s by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt after a series of rulings frustrated some of his policies.

Biden forms panel to study possible U.S. Supreme Court expansion
 

Related Articles

Beto plans Texas comeback in governor's race -Axios
Beto plans Texas comeback in governor's race -Axios By Reuters - Sep 19, 2021 7

(Reuters) - Former Congressman Beto O'Rourke is preparing to run for governor of Texas in 2022, a move that would pit a high-profile Democratic challenger against the current...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (12)
Duane Goodson
Duane Goodson Apr 11, 2021 12:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Nothing will come of this. Biden and friends could eliminate the Supreme Court all together, and conservatives would complain about it for a couple of weeks on Facebook and then that would be that. It's what they do, they talk about everything and actually do nothing.
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Apr 11, 2021 6:20AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
James couldn't agree more
James Pattison
James Pattison Apr 09, 2021 10:33PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Im moving to the first state that secedes...
Lorks Glordon
Lorks Glordon Apr 09, 2021 7:44PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the sniffer has been sniffing glue
buylow sellhigh
buylow sellhigh Apr 09, 2021 5:56PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
how about term limits for congress
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 09, 2021 5:21PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Biden is turning America into a single party system
Richard Draggin
Richard Draggin Apr 09, 2021 5:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Im fine with a term limit for anyone newly appointed. It would end the game of finding the youngest justices that follow the presidents ideology. In such a setting as the suprem court, id rather have experience over youth.
Richard Draggin
Richard Draggin Apr 09, 2021 5:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
And....we wouldnt have to watch them slowly die their last few years like RBG. She couldnt even hold her head up anymore. She looked like Stephen Hawking
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Apr 09, 2021 4:30PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Welcome to Biden's world.
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 09, 2021 3:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
During the campaign, he put himself forward as a Moderate, bi-partisan. He talks, talks, talks about being a Moderate, but Joey CAVES every time the Liberals push him.
Daniel Kim
Daniel Kim Apr 09, 2021 1:20PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Term limits should also be in place for congress also
Daniel Kim
Daniel Kim Apr 09, 2021 1:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Term limits should also be in place for congress also
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
All of the arguments against these proposals were made during the constitutional convention. Politicizing the SC will result in the destruction of its independance...and justice will become vengence.
Show previous replies (1)
oeg vokar
oeg vokar Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  Your googling doesn't help you much.This is the power of supreme court....hasn't been change for 152 years.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  LOL,making up more stuff
Juan Saldana
Juan Saldana Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  So basically the Left is in fact searching and in need of a little more power.
Adrian White
Adrian White Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
No Juan, it's about seeking balance again, rather than having twice as many from one political leaning compared to the other.
Duane Goodson
Duane Goodson Apr 09, 2021 1:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Me comment  So oh enlightened one what your advocating is "If you do not like which way the Supreme Court leans, change the Supreme court".
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email