President Joe Biden will soon create a commission to study the impact of expanding the Supreme Court, a practice known as court packing, the New York Times (NYT) reported Friday.
Biden had previously opposed the idea of court packing, arguing it would make the court a more partisan body. He vowed during his 2020 presidential campaign, however to create a commission to “study” the possibility of packing the court. Former President Donald Trump replaced three Supreme Court justices during his four years in office, leading to a 6-3 conservative majority. Many Democrats argue the court must be expanded to include more liberals in order to “restore balance,” according to the NYT.
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the senior liberal on the Supreme Court, said Tuesday that court packing would do just the opposite, however. He argued that political interference in the court could only harm its perception as a neutral body.
“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority,” Breyer said. “But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”
Even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, arguably the most liberal justice of her time, argued against court packing.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she said in 2019. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Biden first took action on his plans to create the commission at the end of January, but selection for the commission’s members is now nearing completion, according to Politico. He vowed in October 2020 that the commission would be a “bipartisan” body charged with investigating the consequences of court packing as well as other reforms to the existing court system. The commission will make recommendations after 180 days. (RELATED: Here’s The Far-Left’s Plan To Take Over Every Federal Court Over Republican Objection)
“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission – a bipartisan commission … and I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system … it’s not about court packing,” Biden said at the time. “There’s a number of alternatives that go well beyond court packing.”
WATCH: In an interview with Joe Biden for @60Minutes, @CBSEveningNews‘ @NorahODonnell pressed Biden on his position on so-called “court packing.” It’s a controversial proposal that would add justices to the Supreme Court, from its current nine.
More Sunday on @CBS. pic.twitter.com/iFvatE6ZP6
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 22, 2020
While the fringe leftists and activist elements of the Democratic Party have been aggressively pushing for court packing, both the center and more moderate sides of the party generally oppose it.
Both Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have opposed pushes to pack the courts and end the Senate filibuster.
“Let me be clear: I will not vote to pack the courts & I will not vote to end the filibuster,” Manchin said on Fox News in late 2020. “The U.S. Senate is the most deliberative body in the world. It was made so that we work together in a bipartisan way. If you get rid of the filibuster, there’s no reason to have a Senate.”
The White House has not officially announced the creation of the commission.