Court-packing in Congress? Bill would expand Supreme Court

On Thursday morning, 4 Democrats in Congress launched a invoice to extend the dimensions of the U.S. Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices, using what’s broadly thought to be a radical tactic to rebalance courtroom politics.

If handed, President Joe Biden would instantly be given authority to call 4 judges to fill the extra seats. That would present the Democratic get together with a 7-6 majority in the judiciary department, which is the one energy of presidency it doesn’t presently management; Democrats received management of each the White Home and the Senate in the 2020 election, flipping the government and legislative branches from crimson and purple to solidly blue.

The Supreme Court is presently tilted 6-3 in favor of conservatives.


The so-called Judiciary Act of 2021 would edit a federal provision that states the Supreme Court shall include a chief justice and eight affiliate justices, to as an alternative learn that the Supreme Court shall have a chief justice and “twelve affiliate justices, any eight of whom shall represent a quorum.”

Such a change would undo 4 years of efforts from Congressional Republicans to safe a conservative majority in the courtroom, beginning with Justice Antonin Scalia’s loss of life in 2016, when Republicans refused to think about President Barack Obama’s decide Merrick Garland (D) on the idea that it was a presidential election yr. President Donald Trump finally nominated Neil Gorsuch (R) to fill the seat. In 2020, Republicans reversed their argument when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, speeding to fill her seat by confirming choose Amy Coney Barrett (R) eight days earlier than the presidential election.

The final time the Supreme Court modified dimension was in 1869. President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously campaigned to extend it by 6 justices in 1937, which was decried by critics as “packing the courtroom” with supporters and shot down in a Senate vote 70-20.

In the present day’s invoice faces an uphill battle in a cut up Senate and is thought to be unlikely to go. Though President Biden has hesitated to touch upon increasing the courtroom, he mentioned final October that he was “not a fan of court-packing.”