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Democrats Offer Bill To Expand Supreme Court By 4 Judges As GOP Slams Decision

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Four Democratic members of Congress will introduce legislation to add four seats to the Supreme Court. If passed (the Dems would have to end the filibuster to pass the bill and right now Joe Manchin said that is off the table) the bill will allow President Biden to immediately pick four new judges for a total of 13 giving the Democrats a 7-6 majority.

The bill is being introduced by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Mondaire Jones (D-NY) in the House and by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in the Senate.

They are calling it the Judiciary Act of 2021. The current law says the Supreme Court shall consist of a chief justice and eight associate justices. The Dems bill says that the Court shall consist of ‘‘a Chief Justice of the United States and twelve associate justices, any eight of whom shall constitute a quorum.”

From The New York Post:

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order creating a commission that would study the “pros and cons” of expanding the court.

But Markey said that, “We need more than a commission to restore integrity to the court.”

Republicans and legal purists decry the idea as “court-packing” and say it will undo the court’s historical insulation from politics.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, blasted the Dems’ proposal, saying that “Packing the Supreme Court would destroy the Supreme Court.”

“The Democrats will do anything for power,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The moderate left is gone,” said President Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows.

“This is who they are now. Open borders. Outlawing voter ID. Free healthcare for illegal migrants. And now court packing. This should be roundly rejected.”

Biden previously opposed adding seats.

From The Intercept:

The number of justices on the court, which is set by Congress, has fluctuated throughout the course of the nation’s history, reaching as many as 10 seats before settling on nine in 1869. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz suggested that if Hillary Clinton were elected, the Republican Senate should keep Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat empty, effectively bringing the number of justices down to eight.

Republicans currently hold six seats, while Democrats hold just three. Republicans were able to solidify control of the court under former President Donald Trump, after first refusing to advance Merrick Garland’s nomination under former President Barack Obama and then confirming Justice Neil Gorsuch after Trump’s election.

…But after Democrats lost races they hoped to win in Maine, North Carolina, and Iowa, some Democratic strategists argued that the talk of court packing and ending the filibuster had inspired more Republicans to vote, and discussion of the move was shelved.

In April, President Joe Biden created a commission to study possible reforms to the court, including adding seats. This past October, Biden promised to create such a commission if elected, saying the judicial system was “getting out of whack,” but said, “It’s not about court packing.”