A group of Congressional Democrats is looking to expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13 — despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) clear signal that she will not bring the bill up for a vote.
“We’re not packing the Supreme Court, we’re unpacking it,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday.
Nadler and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are leading a group of Democrats in unveiling a bill to expand the Supreme Court by four justices. It aims to break the 6-3 conservative majority currently on the court.
“As our country has grown, so too should the Supreme Court,” Nadler said. “Thirteen justices for 13 circuits is a logical progression … and to rectify the great injustice that was done in packing the court.”
There have been nine justices on the Supreme Court since 1869.
Court-packing is defined as “the act or practice of packing … a court and especially the United States Supreme Court by increasing the number of judges or justices in an attempt to change the ideological makeup of the court,” as Merriam-Webster defines it.
Watch Nadler’s comments below:
Rep. Nadler on his bill to expand the Supreme Court: "As our country has grown, so should the Supreme Court. 13 justices for 13 circuits is a logical progression…and to rectify the great injustice that was done in packing the court." https://t.co/Z1gC6BePs8 pic.twitter.com/sb0gJGEFMA
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 15, 2021
When asked if she would commit to bringing the bill to the floor for a vote, Pelosi told reporters during Thursday’s press conference, “No,” as IJR reported on.
“I support the president’s commission to study such a proposal. But frankly, I’m not… Right now, we’re back, our members, our committees are putting together the infrastructure bill and the rest,” she added.
The speaker continued, “I don’t know that that’s a good idea or a bad idea. I think it’s an idea that should be considered, and I think the president’s taking the right approach to have a commission study such a thing. It’s a big step.”
“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform,” the White House statement said.
Biden said in October 2020 that he is “not a fan” of court-packing, but, at the time, it depended on how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was handled. She was confirmed 30 days after former President Donald Trump nominated her.
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