The group tasked with looking into the possible advantages and disadvantages of expanding the Supreme Court is advising against it. President Biden appointed a panel to study potential “reforms” to the Supreme Court at the beginning of his presidency. So far, the panel noted the potential to undermine the high court’s legitimacy in its initial report.
The Hill reports:
“The risks of Court expansion are considerable, including that it could undermine the very goal of some of its proponents of restoring the Court’s legitimacy. Recent polls suggest that a majority of the public does not support Court expansion,” a draft document released by the White House on Thursday states. “And as even some supporters of Court expansion acknowledged during the Commission’s public hearings, the reform—at least if it were done in the near term and all at once—would be perceived by many as a partisan maneuver.”
The debate over reform comes amid a recent dropoff in the 6-3 conservative majority court’s approval rating and at the start of a blockbuster term in which the justices will hear a direct challenge to the landmark 1973 decision ruling in Roe v. Wade and a gun rights case that could result in the expansion of the Second Amendment.
The group noted the idea of expanding the bench could open a can of worms difficult to come back from.
“We have not sought to determine whether any particular perspective on the confirmation process or on the Court’s composition today is ‘correct,’” the document states. “But the more important point is that different segments of the public and the legal and academic communities understand the determinants and likely consequences of the Court’s current composition differently, and any lawmaker contemplating Supreme Court reform should be aware that the pursuit of immediate Court expansion would involve taking a position in a partisan contest in which opinion is deeply divided.”