Sen. Cruz submits proposed constitutional amendment to permanently set size of Supreme Court at nine justices

March 23, 2023

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) filed legislation that, if passed would amend the U.S. Constitution to permanently establish nine members as the size of the U.S. Supreme Court's bench, The Hill reported.

The move comes in response to persistent partisan demands over the past few years from progressive activists and elected Democrats to "pack the court" and expand its size with new members to admittedly alter the court's ideological balance and counter its current conservative-leaning majority.

Democratic calls to pack the court

NBC News reported in April 2021 that Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation that would immediately expand the size of the Supreme Court to 13 members and, presumably, change the ideological balance from its current 6-3 Republican-appointed majority to a 7-6 Democratic-appointed majority.

That legislation, which never really had a chance of passage in the evenly split Congress, had been pushed by far-left progressive activists who sought vengeance over the fact that former President Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Senate had been able to nominate and confirm to the court three conservative-leaning jurists during Trump's four-year term.

The Hill reported separately in July 2022 that Democrats, enraged by recent monumental decisions handed down by the 6-3 conservative-leaning majority just a month earlier, reiterated their demands that the "rogue" court be expanded and counterbalanced with new liberal jurists.

The proposed amendment

Sen. Cruz, along with virtually all of his fellow Republicans and even a number of skeptical Democrats, stands vehemently opposed to the idea of court-packing, as evidenced by the joint resolution he just resubmitted for consideration in the Senate after having initially introduced it to no avail in 2021.

That bill, if passed by both the House and Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years, would amend the U.S. Constitution to state quite simply, "The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices."

"The Democrats’ answer to a Supreme Court that is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution is to pack it with liberals who will rule the way they want," Cruz said in a statement.

He added, "The Supreme Court should be independent, not inflated by every new administration. That’s why I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment to permanently keep the number of justices at nine."

Other senators sign on in support

Per a press release from Sen. Cruz, the proposed constitutional amendment already has 11 other Republican co-sponsors, including Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN).

Sen. Cotton said, "The progressive left will do anything to gain power, including packing and expanding the Supreme Court with judges that share their radical ideology. This bill will help permanently protect the Court’s integrity from partisan threats."

He was echoed by Sen. Kennedy, who said, "The effort to pack the Supreme Court and turn justices into politicians in robes would delegitimize and destroy one of the most important institutions in America. Congress must protect the judicial branch from political expedience by safeguarding its current structure."

Sen. Hawley similarly stated, "For years the left has been desperate to pack the court to promote their radical agenda. We must ensure that we stay true to the court’s founding principles, maintain the precedent of nine justices, and keep the Democrats from their brazen attempts to rig our democracy."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015-2023 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.