The media largely viewed President Biden’s announcement of his 36-person commission to the Supreme Court last week as a nifty distraction from the court wrapping. Well, not that fast. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and other Democrats tabled a bill this week to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 judges.
Message: The democratic left is serious, and the Biden Commission better not reject it. Oh, and watch out, judge. Congress will reshape the Court of Justice if you make decisions that go against progressives.
Republicans are right to demand this for the political intimidation that it is. But here’s another message for the GOP and the Commission to take into account: if Democrats turn the Court of Justice into another legislature by packing, the GOP has the power to narrow or graze its jurisdiction.
If that sounds radical, think about what the Democrats are proposing. Only because the people appointed by the GOP now have a 6-3 majority in the High Court, the progressives want to blow this up in a vote in the Partisan Congress. Adding judges in this way would undermine the legitimacy of the court with the American public and potentially cause permanent damage, Judge Stephen Breyer warned in a timely speech last week.
Many Republicans respond by saying they will reject the disadvantage the next time they have power and add more judges. However, this admits the advancing view that the Court of Justice is just another political decision-making body. It would de facto transform the Court of Justice into a House of Lords, albeit with power, which would put an end to its traditional judicial role of applying the law to cases and controversy.