Congressional Democrats Unveil Bills to Increase Supreme Court Size

Democrats from the House and Senate are introducing bills to expand the Supreme Court’s number of justices. Vox called it a counterbalance to Republican manipulation of the judiciary while the right drew from historical criticism of similar measures in the past.


Democrats in the House and Senate will introduce legislation on Thursday to add four justices to the Supreme Court, increasing the number of justices from 9 to 13.

Beyond Today’s Headlines

  • In October of last year, Biden admitted he just did not want to discuss “court packing” on the campaign trail, while saying in 1983 that FDR’s court packing push was a “bonehead idea” even if he had the legal and constitutional right to do so.
  • In 2019, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said “Nine seems to be a good number” in reference to the Supreme Court.
  • Last October, Sen. Dick Durbin attempted to change the definition of “court packing”, saying Republicans have been doing so “for the past three and a half years”, referencing the Senate’s constitutional role in the confirmation process for pre-existing judicial vacancies (not the creation of new seats, which is the actual process of court packing). apparently later succumbed to Durbin’s effort of making words mean what they don’t actually mean.
  • Author’s Note – Like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s nuking of the filibuster to push through judicial nominees for then-President Obama, too many politicians, but particularly Democrat politicians, push institution-altering proposals seemingly without considering the possibility that eventually, the shoe will be on the other foot, and their partisan competitors will be in the majority. As Sen Sanders rightly pointed out, opening this door will give Republicans license to do the same, as Senator McConnell pointed out to Reid in 2013.


reporting from the left side of the aisle





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© Dallas Gerber, 2021