Biden Orders Review of Supreme Court Expansion
The latest trick revealed to be hidden up Joe Biden’s sleeve is an attempt at doctoring the Supreme Court. An executive order is expected to be issued, asking for a study on the court and how several proposed “reforms” would affect it.
Shortly after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in October of last year, Biden made comments regarding the Supreme Court in an interview with “60 Minutes.” While still campaigning, Biden was on the receiving end of pressure from fellow Democrats who sought to add Justices to the Supreme Court. This became part of his campaign, and is coming to fruition now.
Biden’s reform task force is composed of 36 members, Democrats and Republicans alike. Two chairs have been selected to lead the group: Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez. Bauer is a former White House Counsel under the Obama administration, and currently works as a professor at the New York University School of Law. His Republican counterpart, Rodriguez, is a professor at Yale Law School, and has served as a Justice Department official and as Sandra Day O’Connor’s clerk.
Bauer, Rodriguez, and their company of scholars and lawmakers alike are tasked with exploring the current state of the Supreme Court, and how certain changes would impact its effectiveness in the future. Specifically, the White House’s report mentions reviews of “the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”
The group was given six months to fulfil their duties, but the actual job of this committee is not to make changes or even recommend certain changes to the president. In fact, the exchange will go in quite the opposite direction. This task force will receive proposed changes, analyze them, and return their findings, leading the president to make his own decisions moving forward. Interestingly, the group is required to hold public meetings and is encouraged to listen to input from a variety of stakeholders.
Some are considering this new push by Joe Biden to be a significant flip-flop on Supreme Court reform. He has been quoted in the past as saying “court-packing”, or adding more Justices to the Court, is a “boneheaded idea.” Even early on in his presidential campaign, Biden showed reluctance to expansion. The catalyst seems to have been Trump’s assignment of Amy Coney Barrett to the stand, marking the third and final of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees. After her assignment, Biden referred to the Supreme Court as “getting out of whack,” and made promises of looking into alternatives.
Republicans have made it clear they will not stand for this unconstitutional power grab, and with a 50/50 split, any court expansion proposals will certainly face a substantial uphill battle. However, the most outspoken on this push will undoubtedly be from the far left, as they have already made their dissatisfactions with the Court clear. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court is supposed to act as a non-partisan entity, many Democrats fear that there are too many Republicans currently on the bench. One notable voice in the cacophony belongs to Ed Markey, Massachusetts’ Democratic Senator, who made bold claims as far back as September of 2020. Markey spoke of abolishing the filibuster and packing the Court nearly seven months ago.
The liberals’ main target appears to be Bill Clinton’s nominee, Justice Stephen Breyer. Breyer, age 82, spoke out against expanding the court recently, citing the possibility of over-politicizing an institution that should not act based on partisanship. Liberals responded by calling for his retirement. “The only responsible choice for Justice Breyer is to immediately announce his retirement so President Biden can quickly nominate the first-ever Black woman Supreme Court Justice,” said the executive director of Demand Justice, yet another liberal group pushing for court expansion. Biden did indeed promise the first Black female nomination for the court, marking yet another campaign promise of pushing diversity.
Still, some activists have been seriously questioning if these efforts of diversity are merely pandering and only for show. If the Biden administration keeps the left distracted with fulfilling promises of diversity, it doesn’t have to actually push for any substantial legislation. News outlets are similarly questioning the sincerity of Biden’s actions. One thing that is certain, though, is that this conversation is not going away anytime soon. Still, Joe Biden must act quickly, as he effectively only has 19 months to do anything before the midterm election shakes up national politics.