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Biden to Form Commission to Study Packing the Supreme Court

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2021
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by Outside Contributor
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19 Comments
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President Joe Biden is set to issue an executive order on Friday forming a bipartisan commission that will perform a 180-day study of potential changes to the Supreme Court, including court packing and setting term limits for justices.

“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” the White House said in a statement. “The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”

Biden promised to form the bipartisan commission during the campaign in October as he repeatedly dodged questions regarding his stance on expanding the Supreme Court. At that time, progressives had thrust court-packing to the forefront of political debate with calls to add more justices to the nine-judge court after Republicans moved forward with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings just weeks before the November 3 election, creating a 6-3 conservative majority on the court.

When asked before the election if voters “deserve to know” his position on court-packing, Biden said, “No they don’t deserve- I’m not gonna play his game. He’d love… that to be the discussion instead of what he’s doing now,” referring to President Trump.

He said that he would clarify his stance on court-packing ahead of the election, contingent upon how Republicans “handle” Barrett’s confirmation process, though he never did.

In an interview with 60 Minutes in October, Biden instead suggested he would “put together a national commission of .. scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal conservative.”

“And I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack, the way in which it’s being handled and it’s not about court-packing,” he said then.

The 36-member panel will be led by Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, and Cristina Rodriguez, a Yale Law School professor who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel under the Obama administration.

However, as the commission is not set to issue specific guidance at the conclusion of its study, it remains to be seen if the panel will ultimately clarify Biden’s stance on the issue.

The order comes after Justice Stephen Breyer cautioned earlier this week that court packing for political gain could undermine public trust in the court and its decisions.

“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority,” Breyer said. “But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

The liberal justice, who at 82 years old is the oldest judge on the court, has faced calls from progressive groups to retire while Democrats control the Senate and the confirmation process.

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LeRoy
LeRoy
2 years ago

I understand the 36-member panel will have only 7 conservatives. What a FARCE!

Phil
Phil
2 years ago

Joe Biden isn’t “calling” for anything. His senile dementia apparently has progressed far enough so he is incapable of a coherent thought process. He reads what he’s told to read, signs what he’s told to sign, and calls on for questions who he’s told to call on and in what order, so his pre-written answers match the question. His wife needs to be arrested and charged with elder abuse, as does anyone who was involved with getting this puppet elected. Hopefully, the adults will begin taking charge again in 2022. T Jefferson was a proponent of “nullification.” Any “law” that violated the Constitution was not a law at all….I’m sure he’d extend that to executive orders and regulations were he here today. Citizens are NOT required to obey unconstitutional laws, orders, or regulations. Pretty sure he’d be completely disgusted to see how the “federal” government has evolved into a near Marxist dictatorship.

JudyG46
JudyG46
2 years ago

The leftist, socialist, whiny, short-sighted, etc., democrats are just not happy with the majority they have in all three branches of our government. Their agenda to pack the courts and limit judicial terms just proves they are truly out to destroy our government, freedom and do away with our Constitution. They are a combination of the Mafia and the Gestapo.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
2 years ago

Let’s be honest about the REAL reason why the democrats want to pack the court. They want the court to be full of liberal activist judges to rubber stamp whatever parts of their agenda they can’t get passed through the legislature ( the branch of government that actually MAKES the laws). Whatever parts of their agenda the legislature they can’t get passed, they want the judiciary to do it for them and that’s NOT how government is supposed to work. Democrats obviously don’t get that and don’t want to,

Kathy Larzelere
Kathy Larzelere
2 years ago

The structure of our government was put together so that no single party or people could “take it over for their own purposes. ” Each branch was to be a “checks and balance system” to prevent illegal activity. With the Senate make-up as it is now we are already treading a fine line. The Supreme Court has been working well as it is currently structured and should not be changed just so Socialism can take over.

BRUCE JACKSON
BRUCE JACKSON
2 years ago

The Constitution, as written, is the law of the land. PERIOD. Anything that is extra-, anti-, aConstitutional or otherwise, having been done outside the Constitution and thereby masquerading as law, is not the law of the land.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

This action by Biden will NOT make the left happy. His handlers are trying to thread the political needle to absolve Biden of any personal responsibility (fallout) of the Democrat Congress eventually packing the Court by appointing a commission comprised of members who all will recommend that conclusion, while at the same time trying to continue to intimidate Chief Justice Roberts to continue supporting the left side of the Court. Example of the latter is his most recent vote concerning religious liberty in California, where he sided with the left. Fortunately, the actual constitutional conservatives on the Court held firm and freedom won 5 to 4.

The left doesn’t want to wait for any commission recommendations. From those Democrat voters that I have spoken to, that are the most openly socialist or communist leaning, they view any delay in court packing as the Democrat party trying to back-track on their promise to them in exchange for their voting for Biden. They want action now to render the Supreme Court a rubber stamp of the Democrat majority controlling both Congress and the White House. So whatever the Democrats ram through on a pure majority vote will be deemed “constitutional” by the Court.

The left are NOT looking for justice. They are simply looking to crush any possible dissent to their agenda by ensuring they have clear majorities across all three branches of government at the highest levels. So expect to hear the mainstream media news outlets put on a lot of speakers, who advocate for much more aggressive action from the White House to bring about a packed court sooner. The progressive groups already targeting Justice Breyer are just the beginning of what will be a coordinated campaign to step up the whole court packing process.

Duane
Duane
2 years ago

Article III of the Constitution establishes the federal judiciary. Article III, Section I states that “The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Although the Constitution establishes the Supreme Court, it permits Congress to decide how to organize it. Contact your Congressional Representatives! Perhaps they should STOP fooling around with the make up of the court and START ADMINISTERING JUSTICE AND PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR!

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