Yesterday several House and Senate Democrats held a press conference to tout their bill to pack the U.S. Supreme Court. The legislation would expand the court to 13 justices from its current nine. The effort is being led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), and Hank Johnson (D-GA). Rep. Mondaire Jones went as far as tweeting, “Supreme Court expansion is infrastructure.” A response to a common retort from skeptics at Democratic plans to include many social issues in an upcoming infrastructure package.
Several additional Democrats in recent months have expressed support for court-packing, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). One prominent Democrat, however that has not embraced the idea is President Joe Biden but has endorsed the idea of a bipartisan commission to study the Supreme Court.
Conservatives quickly reacted to the plan questioning what nefarious plans Democrats plan to pass that need a packed court to allow. Republican legislators were ready with a response by pointing to Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) bill that would make a constitutional amendment to set the number of Supreme Court Justices at nine. The Constitution currently allows the number of justices to be set by Congress; however, the number has been set at nine since the 19th Century.
The Senate filibuster limits the likelihood of court-packing legislation passing; however, many progressive groups continue to urge Senate Democrats to end the rule. AMAC members have sent more than 145,000 messages to Capitol Hill urging members to oppose filibuster repeal and stop the “For the People Act” that would end election integrity measures passed by many states.
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