U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Chris King of Demand Justice, Meagan Hatcher-Mays of Indivisible, and Prof. Aaron Belkin of Take Back the Court introduce the Judiciary Act of 2021 aimed at expanding the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to thirteen justices, outside the court in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 15, 2021.
U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Chris King of Demand Justice, Meagan Hatcher-Mays of Indivisible, and Prof. Aaron Belkin of Take Back the Court introduce the Judiciary Act of 2021 aimed at expanding the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to thirteen justices, outside the court in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 15, 2021. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

A group of Congressional Democrats introduced legislation called the Judiciary Act of 2021 that would add four seats to the Supreme Court. Lawmakers and groups supporting the bill made their case on the steps of the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“Some people say we’re packing the court. We’re not packing it. We’re unpacking it,” chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said. He said the Republican Party has packed the court the last couple of years and the proposal is a reaction to that, referring to it as a “necessary step in the evolution of the court.”

Progressive groups continue to express frustration regarding what they call Republican manipulation of the Supreme Court nomination process. They highlight how former President Barack Obama’s nominee was blocked for nearly a year and that Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination was rushed through just over a month after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

The bill’s sponsors acknowledged that the bill is unlikely to make headway for now. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had no plans to bring the bill to the House floor. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden would wait for the commission he appointed last week to do his work.

Last week, Biden formed the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The bipartisan group of experts will analyze the arguments for and against Supreme Court reform, completing its report within 180 days of its first meeting.

Republicans have expressed strong disapproval for any proposed Supreme Court expansions. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said adding more justices would “destroy confidence in the law.” A group of House Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment fixing the Supreme Court’s membership at nine justices. The Constitutional Crisis network, a conservative advocacy group, started a $1 million advertising campaign criticizing Biden for exploring changing the court’s makeup after previously resisting the idea.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Democrats plan to unveil legislation to expand the US supreme court by four seats – The Guardian – 4/14/2021
Progressives have been pushing to expand the supreme court, after Donald Trump’s three appointees tilted the judicial body sharply to the right. One of the positions that Trump filled was a seat that Republicans had blocked his predecessor, Barack Obama, from filling in 2016 – arguing that the winner of that year’s election should choose whom to nominate for the vacant seat. But last year, Republicans reversed course – rushing to approve ultra-conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett weeks before the 2020 election.

Democrats Are Determined To Pack The Court, No Matter How Many Rules They Have To Break – The Federalist – 4/15/2021
The White House marketed the so-called “bipartisan” commission as a 180-day effort to examine and outline “the genesis of the reform debate, the Court’s role in the Constitutional system, the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court” as well as “the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.” Democrats’ new legislation shows the commission is merely a ruse to appease those easily fooled by Biden’s false unity rhetoric.

Democrats in Congress Are Planning to Move Ahead on Expanding the Supreme Court – Truthout – 4/15/2021
There’s a chance that voters would be receptive to adding more seats to the Supreme Court, too. In a poll from The Hill/Harris X that was conducted in late October 2020, the public was split on the issue, with 52 percent saying they’d like to see more seats added and 48 percent saying they opposed the idea.

Cotton: Court-Packing Bill ‘Is a Way to Try to Intimidate’ SCOTUS – Breitbart – 4/15/2021
On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stated that the Democratic court-packing bill “really is a way to try to intimidate the justices into the Democrats’ favored rulings.” Cotton said, “The Democrats have a very bad habit of trying to intimidate the court.”

How to Stop the Minority-Rule Doom Loop – The Atlantic – 4/12/2021
Democrats must reform the courts, which are undergoing a crisis of legitimacy. As Quinta Jurecic and Susan Hennessey recently wrote, “The Court has come to more closely represent the interests of a powerful minority,” a fact underscored by the looming threat that Roberts might reiterate his Shelby decision by striking down new voting-rights laws. Biden’s commission is a good place to start, but its recommendations must be aggressive and congressional Democrats must see them through.

Biden’s new Supreme Court commission is a win for the Federalist Society – Vox – 4/10/2021
When the White House released the list of commission members on Friday, it swiftly won praise — from members of the conservative Federalist Society. Evan Bernick, a right-libertarian law professor at Georgetown, praised the commission as a “powerhouse lineup of scholars.” Stephen Sachs, a Duke Law professor who won the Federalist Society’s Joseph Story Award in 2020, called the commission “an astonishingly well-balanced list.”

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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