Democrats are introducing legislation today to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 members. The bill is led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as progressive groups are looking to offset three conservative appointments in four years under Trump.
While advocates have been pushing for the addition of seats to the Supreme Court, the bill won’t see much movement in the evenly split Senate, with all Republicans and several moderate Democrats opposed to court expansion. The legislation is all but guaranteed to prompt attacks from Republicans, who during the 2020 elections warned that Democrats would expand the courts if they took control of Washington.
President Biden has indicated he is “not a fan” of court packing, and the White House announced last week the creation of a bipartisan commission to study reforms to the Supreme Court and produce a report.
Justice Stephen Breyer is also apparently not a fan, as he cautioned against court packing for fear that doing so would only undermine public confidence in the institution.
Justice Breyer, a Bill Clinton appointee, is 82 and Democrats are a single Senate seat away from ceding control back to Republicans. It’s a familiar and uncomfortable bind for a party that barely nudged former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire the last time they controlled both the Senate and the White House — then watched the Supreme Court veer to the right with a 6-3 conservative majority.
Democratic leaders and Joe Biden are reluctant to pressure Breyer for his retirement while their party currently controls the Senate, but Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he would “never presume to tell a Supreme Court justice to retire,” but that Breyer himself “is very familiar with the potential risks of a Republican president appointing his successor.”
Source info at Politico