This week, President Joe Biden’s commission on the U.S. Supreme Court released its preliminary report.
To the dismay of the far-left, the commission did not, come out in favor of exanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
It ought to be stated at the outset that the writers of the report were very careful, here, not to explicitly take a side on the court packing issue. Instead, they make it clear that their report is, more or less, a collection of materials on the issue for President Joe Biden’s consideration.
That being said, some of the language used in the report sure does seem to suggest that the commission came out against court packing.
“As a legal matter, we conclude that Congress has broad power to structure the Supreme Court by expanding (or contracting) the number of Justices,” the report reads. “The prudential question is more difficult, and Commissioners are divided on whether Court expansion would be wise.”
As other Commissioners conclude – including Commissioners who are critics of many of the Court’s recent decisions and support other reforms – Court expansion is likely to undermine, rather than enhance, the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and its role in the constitutional system, and there are significant reasons to be skeptical that expansion would serve democratice values.
Even if the commission didn’t come out against court packing, with language like this, it certainly didn’t come out for court packing. And, reports indicate that the progressives are not happy about this. For President Biden, though, it’s a different story.
The commission served its purpose
The progressives have been pushing court packing hard ever since former President Donald Trump put a third conservative justice on the Supreme Court, giving that court a conservative majority for the first time in decades. The progressives want Congress to expand the court by four justices, which would allow Biden to put four liberals on the bench, once again, giving the court a liberal majority.
Biden has refused to pick a side on this controversial issue, and, as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) recently explained, this is where the commission comes in.
During a recent interview, Cotton said:
[T]his commission was never designed to try to improve the Supreme Court or fix any problems with it. It was simply a way to provide cover for Joe Biden, who refused to take a position in the campaign on packing the Supreme Court. There is really not much wrong with the Supreme Court, and the way it functions aside from Democrats don’t like the way it rules in many cases. So, this commission from the very beginning has just been an effort to provide Joe Biden cover from his far left, and his far left is already criticizing it because they do want to pack the Supreme Court. They want to pack the federal courts more broadly. That is deeply corrosive of the rule of law, and most Americans would strongly oppose it.
That just about sums the whole situation up.
The White House has yet to comment on the report. If Biden is still of the same mind as he was when he ordered the commission, then he probably wants this issue to die already. The progressives, however, are making it clear that they won’t let it.