President Biden is reportedly creating a bipartisan commission to explore the possibility of expanding the number of Supreme Court justices on the bench or imposing term limits for justices. The move by Biden seeks to fulfill campaign promises he made to activists who were enraged when Trump nominated a third conservative justice to the Supreme Court. In October, Amy Coney Barrett was nominated and ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court, giving the bench a conservative tilt. Barrett’s nomination reignited the age-old argument of court-packing which Biden never denied he would attempt to do if elected, not it seems liberals are getting their wish.
The White House is set to release a statement that says the commission would examine “the genesis of the reform debate and 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.”
The New York Times reports:
In his executive order on Friday, the president will create a 36-member commission charged with examining the history of the court, past changes to the process of nominating justices, and the potential consequences to altering the size of the nation’s highest court.
The 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 Mr. Obama.
People familiar with Mr. Biden’s selections for the commission said they expect some members to offer evidence promoting the benefits of making changes to the court, while others will emphasize the costs or consequences of altering the current method of selecting justices. Those discussions will be presented in the report, which is set to be finished in October.
In his order, Mr. Biden instructed the commission to hold public hearings on the issue and to accept testimony and submissions from other legal experts, organizations and members of the public who want to weigh in.
The New York Times reports that some of the conservative members of the commission will be: Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who was a top Justice Department official under former President George W. Bush; Adam White, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School; and Keith E. Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University who takes an “originalist” view of the Constitution.