Though talk of packing the Supreme Court with liberal judges has died down in the wake of the election, Democrats are far from giving up on the notion — and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is working hard to combat it.
Cruz has introduced two new proposals that will permanently fix the number of Supreme Court justices at nine to prevent the court from being co-opted by additional activist judges.
Though there is no constitutional requirement fixing the number of Supreme Court justices at nine, it’s been nine for more than 150 years.
Cruz is seeking to add a constitutional amendment that would end the debate called the “keep nine” amendment, a bill that has more than a dozen co-sponsors including Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Mike Lee (R-UT).
Cruz’s second proposal would prevent Democrats from using their narrow Senate majority to pass unilateral legislation adding more justices to the panel — a major possibility as Democrats are already attempting to use backdoor methods to circumvent Senate rules about bipartisan agreement in other areas.
This second bill also has a major set of GOP co-sponsors, including Sens. John Boozman (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Rick Scott (R-FL).
Democrats have made it clear in just the first couple of weeks of taking over Washington D.C. that the will of the people and bipartisan agreement are their lowest priority.
Cruz knows that Democrats will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals, and the right-leaning Supreme Court is one of their biggest targets.
The Texas senator explained in a statement:
“For the sake of our liberties and the future of our country, we must preserve the independence of our judiciary. As my Democrat colleagues brazenly discuss expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court, this legislation and constitutional amendment ensures we prevent either party from wielding the Supreme Court as a political tool for their own advantage. I urge my colleagues to defend the fundamental liberties of their constituents—their religious liberty, freedom of speech, and Second Amendment rights—and swiftly take up and pass these proposals to prevent Court packing.
Court in danger
Cruz’s fears are shared by many American voters as President Joe Biden has made it clear that packing the Supreme Court with liberal judges is not entirely off the table.
Though Biden refused to ever come out in clear support of the idea, he also refused to rule it out. After his inauguration, Biden also moved to establish a commission to study potential reforms to a judicial system that is “out of whack,” once again sparking rumors that the Supreme Court is in his sites.
Other Democrat leaders have been more transparent about their intentions, with Vice President Kamala Harris admitting that “everything is on the table” in regard to reforming the courts.