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Sen. Cruz Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Cement Supreme Court at Nine Justices

Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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19 Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today reintroduced his proposed constitutional amendment that would ensure only nine justices could serve on the U.S. Supreme Court at a time. The amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Josh Hawley(R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.)

Once approved by Congress, the amendment would go to the states for ratification. Sen. Cruz previously introduced this amendment in 2021.

About the amendment, Sen. Cruz said:

“The Democrats’ answer to a Supreme Court that is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution is to pack it with liberals who will rule the way they want. The Supreme Court should be independent, not inflated by every new administration. That’s why I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment to permanently keep the number of justices at nine.”

Sen. Hawley said:

“For years the left has been desperate to pack the court to promote their radical agenda. We must ensure that we stay true to the court’s founding principles, maintain the precedent of nine justices, and keep the Democrats from their brazen attempts to rig our democracy.”

Sen. Kennedy said:

“The effort to pack the Supreme Court and turn justices into politicians in robes would delegitimize and destroy one of the most important institutions in America. Congress must protect the judicial branch from political expedience by safeguarding its current structure.”

Sen. Cotton said:

“The progressive left will do anything to gain power, including packing and expanding the Supreme Court with judges that share their radical ideology. This bill will help permanently protect the Court’s integrity from partisan threats.”

Sen. Marshall said:

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues and fight against the radical Left’s attempts to pack the courts. The Keep Nine Amendment is crucial in protecting the integrity and independence of our United States Supreme Court. We will continue to shield our highest courts from political campaign promises that directly undermine our judicial process and our Constitution.”

Sen. Tillis said:

“There is absolutely no reason to add additional Supreme Court justices to the bench other than liberals trying to pack the court in their favor. It is unfortunate that a constitutional amendment is needed to prevent Democrats from packing the Supreme Court and turning justices into legislators who will rubber-stamp far-left policies that erode the economic and religious freedoms of North Carolinians. That is why I co-sponsored this constitutional amendment, and I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same to protect the legitimacy of the Supreme Court and ensure justices base their rulings on the Constitution and not politics.”

Sen. Young said:

“Court-packing was a bad idea in the 1930s and remains a bad idea today. We must protect the constitutional credibility of the Supreme Court by opposing efforts to politicize the federal judiciary and increase the number of justices.”

Read the amendment here. Read the Point of Order Against Court Packing here.

Paul Summers, Chair of The Keep Nine Coalition, said:

“We thank Sen. Cruz for his leadership in the Keep Nine Amendment effort to preserve an independent Supreme Court that will protect our democratic elections process and Constitutional rights for future generations.”

Richard Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government:

“Those who seek to pack the Supreme Court are seeking to subvert the will of the people. Amending the Constitution to establish the number of Justices at nine, secures the independence of the judiciary from political coercion. Senator Ted Cruz’ Constitutional amendment is needed now to insure the future independence of the Judicial branch regardless of its philosophical make-up.”

Bob Carlstrom, President of AMAC Action:

“On behalf of our over 2 million conservative 50+-aged Americans, we strongly support the “Keep Nine” Constitutional Amendment as essential to preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court and be a permanent block against political “court packing” strategies of any Congress. Given both earlier and more recent efforts of some political leaders to enlarge the membership of the Supreme Court for political, and indeed, partisan purposes, this proposed amendment is necessary for the protection of our Constitution’s separation of powers and the integrity of the United States Supreme Court.”

Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit legal organization that has been substantially involved in defense of First Amendment rights for over three decades, said:

“We are committed to ensure that forthcoming generations are gifted an independent Supreme Court beholden only to the Constitution and its principles of governance. We thank Sen. Cruz for his leadership on the Keep Nine Amendment effort to preserve an independent Supreme Court.”

Grover Norquist, Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

“President Joe Biden wrote a completely unconstitutional tax on unrealized capital gains into his budget. Taxpayers Beware: Biden will now be looking to change the court to legalize this tax grab. Another reason to enact the ‘Keep Nine’ amendment protecting against an FDR style court packing.”

Ann Schockett, Immediate Past President of the National Federation of Republican Women, Senior Fellow of the Madison Coalition and Advisor to Keep Nine, said:

“Protecting our structure of government is protecting the future of our nation. I have been proud to generate, participate and oversee vigilant national grassroots efforts to educate fellow citizens and our elected officials at all levels about the risks of court packing. The successful results so far of the work of dedicated people of different political beliefs to educate and advocate on this vital issue indicate that the plurality of Americans recognize that court packing endangers our nation’s constitutional order of the separation of powers between the three branches of government. We the People are speaking up on behalf of our country and our rights. We believe that an independent judiciary safeguards that the rule of law is followed and that our justices would not be influenced by political pressure and can make unbiased decisions, therefore resulting in defending our fundamental freedoms – from religious liberty to free speech. Passing an amendment that keeps the number of Supreme Court justices to nine prevents the perils of court packing and safeguards the future of our Republic for us and generations to come.”

The Eagle Forum said:

“We live in a Representative Democracy comprised of three branches of government – the legislative branch that makes the laws, the executive branch that enforces the law and the judicial branch that interprets the law. This framework of the separation of powers with its important checks and balances between the branches is a hallmark of our great constitutional system. These checks and balances naturally lead to frustrations and impediments in policy and politics. This is not a flaw in our system but part of its design.

“Attempts or threats to ‘pack the Court’ have occurred in the past when a President or political party sought to use the Supreme Court to rubber stamp or impose policies that belong in the legislative domain or lack constitutional basis. Increasing the number of justices to dilute the judicial philosophy of a current court is dangerous when done by any political party or ideology. Packing the Court with ideological allies turns the justices into unelected legislators and could lead to an ever-expanding body as each party sought to increase the number for their own gain. Most important, it violates the separation of powers balance that is so important to our Nation.

“Eagle Forum supports the ‘Keep Nine’ amendment and applauds Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and co-sponsors for introducing this resolution to preserve the judicial independence of the Supreme Court. For over 150 years, the number of justices has been nine and this amendment will prohibit any future President or Congress from manipulating the size of the Supreme Court for political gain. The independence and integrity of the Supreme Court to serve as a neutral interpreter of the Constitution must be preserved. By passing the ‘Keep Nine’ amendment, Congress will be ensuring that any future reform to the number of justices will only occur with overwhelming bipartisan support and will end the threat of ‘Court-packing’ as a political wedge issue.”

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Mjb
Mjb
10 months ago

Good for Ted Cruz, someone in congress steps to the plate with a common sense proposal. If only other members of Congress could come up with other positive proposals for this country instead of radical nonsense legislation that hurts the average Americans!

ccc
ccc
10 months ago

The republicans stole a Supreme Court seat from the democrats and we will never forget. You honestly think we will forget what happened with Merrick Garland and Amy Coney Barrett? The republicans lied and lied about it.

Jeanette
Jeanette
10 months ago

Sr Cruz.thank you!

gin
gin
10 months ago

This would be great. I hope it gets voted on and passed.

Steve
Steve
10 months ago

Good job Senator Cruz now get it passed !! As Patton said a good defense is a good offense . Next is to correct the schools the nutjobs have polluted , the gender chaos , control the debt , hold accountable woke business should I GO ON !!

Andre Bixby
Andre Bixby
10 months ago

OK, a very reasonable answer to an ongoing issue. So, the question that begs to be answered. Why didn’t they attempt to do this during the first two years President Trump was in office when they actually had a chance to get it through Congress and with a President that would support it? Obviously, I’m missing something, or I slept through that part of civics class. (A distinct possibility).

Max
Max
10 months ago

Excellent article, however, as long as the Democrats are basically in control, this proposal will GO NOWHERE.

Carol
Carol
10 months ago

I like this amendment! Do the Democrats really believe in the Constitution and that the rule of law applies to everyone? Do they really believe in a government for the people, by the people? 9 justices have worked for years so lets make that permanent!

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
10 months ago

All Supreme Court justices should be originalist. The Constitution is not a living document, if it were what need for an amendment clause?

The biggest proof of a politicized court in my lifetime was it’s failure to find unconstitutional the entirety of Federal Campaign laws, which by definition abridge First Amendment freedoms!

David Millikan
David Millikan
10 months ago

Excellent article.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
10 months ago

Certainly hope it passes!

John
John
10 months ago

It won’t pass but any proposal to raise it to more than 9 won’t pass.
A Republican senate would block anybody Biden nominates so it’s conceivable there could be less than 9 on there for quite some time.

CARLA BUTLER DIFABIO
CARLA BUTLER DIFABIO
10 months ago

All we need as Americans is for our elected congressional officials to uphold the current and well thoughout laws of this country and stop voting in new laws that make no sense and only hurt those whom elect these officials….

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