Democrats Launch Real Plan To Pack Supreme Court

( Democrats aren’t hiding behind rhetoric and threats anymore. They’re taking action on the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, several Democrats in the House of Representatives are expected to unveil legislation that would expand the total number of justices who serve on the high court. A press conference is expected to be held on the steps of the Supreme Court building at some point on Thursday to make the announcement.

The group is led by four Democratic Representatives — Mondaire Jones and Jerry Nadler from New York, Ed Markey from Massachusetts and Hank Johnson from Georgia.

If the Democrats are successful in carrying this out, they would effective be able to pack the court with more liberal justices, and tilt the ideological stance to their side.

Republicans quickly took to Twitter to deride the legislation. Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio wrote:

“Does expanding the Supreme Court count as infrastructure too?”

Jones responded by writing “Yes” and adding a heart emoji.

Jordan added:

“Imagine if we reduced the number from nine to five and just kept the Republicans. You guys would go crazy.”

Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson, a Republican, also criticized the proposal. He said:

“The idea of packing the Supreme Court is so dangerous, we have to address it now.”

Under the proposal, as reported by The Intercept, the Supreme Court would expand from having nine justices to having 13. While the number of justices is not laid out specifically in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has been operating with nine on the bench since 1869.

Brian Fallon, the co-founder of Demand Justice and a former leadership aide for Senate Democrats, said the Supreme Court is “broken and in need of reform.” He commented on the proposal:

“This bill marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans. Our task now is to build a grassroots movement that puts pressure on every Democrat in Congress to support this legislation because it is the only way to restore balance to the court and protect our democracy.”

Some Republicans tried recently to preserve the nine justices on the Supreme Court through a constitutional amendment. Last October, for example, Texas Senator Ted Cruz first put the idea forward when some Democrats said they’d consider the idea of court packing following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Despite the push from these Democrats in the House, the bill is going to face some significant challenges to actually becoming law. Even President Joe Biden, for example, has said he’s “not a fan” of packing the Supreme Court.

Instead, Biden formed a commission of both conservatives and liberals that’s been tasked with studying how the Supreme Court is structured. The group will be looking at not only the number of justices that serve on the Supreme Court but also how long they are appointed for.

This seems like a more passive way of Biden saying he’s in favor of packing the court — putting the ultimate “decision” in the hands of a “bipartisan” group the president appointed.