President Joe Biden has named a new panel set to study possible reforms to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will examine the idea of adding more justices to the bench or possibly setting term limits for service in the court, which is a fulfillment of a promise that the president made to progressives concerning an attempt to flip the conservative-leaning court to the left.
Liberal activists have been pushing hard for the expansion of the number of justices on the bench to help offset the current conservative majority of 6-3, which was created by the three SCOTUS appointments that Trump pushed through.
Why are liberals freaking out about the conservative-leaning court? Because there is a possibility that these justices could revisit decisions such as those on abortion and gay rights, despite the fact that justices have been very slow to tackle these controversial issues.
In a statement, the White House said Biden will sign an executive order to form the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Biden named a bipartisan group of law professors, former judges and others familiar with the legal system and asked them to issue a report within 180 days of first meeting.
The commission will tackle the “merits and legality” of specific high court reform proposals. Along with the contentious idea of expanding the court, reform advocates have recently pushed for term limits for the justices.
“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform,” the statement said.
Chairing the panel are Bob Bauer, a New York University law school professor and former White House counsel and Yale Law School Professor Cristina Rodriguez, former deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.
Some of the issues this panel is planning to examine include “the court’s role in the Constitutional system,” turnover and length of service for justices on the bench, and how the court selects the cases it hears.
The Constitution itself doesn’t actually say how many justices are to serve in the court, however, Congress had left the number at nine ever since 1869. The last time the idea of packing the court was discussed was back in 1937 under former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.