Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Friday to form a “Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States,” according to the White House.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to establish a bipartisan commission of scholars that would come up with recommendations for reforming the US court system.
Biden says he wants to study “a number of alternatives that go well beyond [court] packing,” in a reference to how some Democrats have called for expanding the Supreme Court.
Joe Biden signed the executive order empaneling a commission to examine possible reforms to the Supreme Court and federal judiciary, making good on a campaign trail promise sparked by his predecessor’s tilting of the federal bench.
Sloppy Joe first floated the idea of such a commission last fall on the campaign trail following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose seat on the high court was quickly filled by Amy Coney Barrett, installing a 6-3 majority of justices nominated by Republican presidents.
Ginsburg’s death in September, which allowed former President Donald Trump to make his third Supreme Court appointment in four years, sparked renewed interest in liberal circles about shaking up the court system in substantial ways.
Biden himself has said he’s “not a fan” of so-called court-packing — adding additional seats to the Supreme Court in order to alter its ideological balance — and held up the commission as a more conscientious approach to studying the issue.
The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want, Biden told “60 Minutes” in October. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.
The 36-member commission will be co-chaired by Bob Bauer — who led the Biden campaign’s legal strategy — and Cristina Rodríguez, a Yale Law School professor and former deputy assistant attorney general.
That’s a significant expansion from the size discussed earlier in the process, which POLITICO reported in January was hovering between nine and 15 members.
The commission is likely to raise hackles among conservatives as a veiled attempt to reshape the court after Trump and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell prioritized installing federal judges over the past four years.
Its formation comes as Stephen Breyer, the Supreme Court’s eldest justice, faces pressure from liberal legal activists to step down during Biden’s term so that his successor would be appointed and confirmed while Democrats hold the White House and Senate.
Earlier this week, Breyer issued a warning to advocates of overhauling the Supreme Court that doing so risks eroding the trust in the institution and that they should think “long and hard” about the ramifications in a speech given virtually to Harvard Law School students.
The White House said the commission will complete its work within 180 days of its first public meeting, which it is required to do under federal law.
Politico / ABC Flash Point Bribery News 2021.