As warned by Republicans for months leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, Congressional Democrats reportedly plan to introduce legislation that would expand the Supreme Court, adding four new judges to the high court and bringing the total up to thirteen.
The bill is led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, subcommittee Chair Hank Johnson, and first-term Rep. Mondaire Jones, with Ed Markey of Massachusetts leading the charge in the Senate.
The number of judges sitting on the Supreme Court has varied since the inception of the nation, reaching as many as 10 seats before settling on nine in 1869 and remaining at nine through the present day. Democrats began floating the possibility of “packing” the court, or adding judges for political gain, following the expedited appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last September that gave conservatives a strong 6-3 hold on the highest court.
However, in 2016, Senate Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court under former President Barack Obama, only to later confirm Justice Barrett under the same circumstances as Garland. As a solution, Democrats began seriously considering adding judges to the Supreme Court, a proposal firmly in motion.
Last week, President Joe Biden unveiled a commission to study court-packing, a prospect Biden has remained worryingly mum over. While on the campaign trail for the 2020 Presidential election, Biden claimed voters do not “deserve” to know his stance on packing the court.
As Biden continues to keep Americans in the dark, court-packing is extraordinarily unpopular among Americans, with even independent Senator (I-VT) Bernie Sanders standing against court-packing, warning, if Democrats do it, “the next time the Republicans are in power they will do the same thing.”
In defense of the bill, Rep. Nadler (D-NY) insisted, “Some people say we’re packing the Court. We’re not packing the Court; we’re unpacking it.”