The president of the United States, Joe Biden, formed a bipartisan commission on Friday to study a possible reform in the Supreme Court, including the expansion of the number of justices. To this end, Democrats hope to end the court’s conservative majority, especially after former President Donald Trump appointed three judges during his administration.
Currently, the Supreme Court of the United States is made up of nine judges, most of them conservative, and three of them appointed by former President Donald Trump, but the Democrats are trying to change it.
The US president, Joe Biden, signed an executive order for the creation of a 36-member bipartisan panel, among academics, former federal judges and lawyers, which must consider the “merits and legality” of possible reforms to the highest judicial body in the country. Included is the addition of judges or the imposition of term limits on their service in place of life appointments as is the case today.
“The issues he will examine include the genesis of the debate on possible reforms, the role of the court in the constitutional system, the length of service and the rate of replacement of judges on the court,” said a White House statement.
With this order, Biden fulfills one of his campaign promises, after pressure from activists and Democrats calling for a balance in the High Court, after his composition will lean heavily towards the conservative wing during the term of Donald Trump, the president. that more judges have appointed.
With Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to replace the late Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg just days before last year’s presidential election, the Conservatives got a 6-to-3 split.
The commission will have to evaluate the possible modifications during the next six months.
Strong Republican opposition
As a result of the power game, some progressives call for adding seats to the court or establishing term limits as a way to offset the influence of any president in their composition.
They claim that the conservative majority could threaten abortion rights, civil rights, gun control and access to health care for years to come.
“Adding seats is the only way to restore balance in court, and Congress should start immediately,” said Aaron Belkin, who heads the liberal group Take Back the Court.
However, conservatives denounce that it is an attempt by the head of state to appoint judges in his favor. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell referred to the panel as a “sham-academic study of a nonexistent problem.” “It is just an attempt to disguise those ongoing attacks with false legitimacy,” he said.
Traditionally, and since shortly after the Civil War, this court has been made up of nine magistrates. Any effort to alter it would be explosive, particularly at a time when Congress is sharply divided, with the number of lawmakers from each party tied in the Upper House and a slim Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
Changing the number of judges or determining that their positions cease to be for life requires the approval of Congress.
The last attempt to expand the court was a failed effort in the 1930s, under Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt.
With Reuters, AP and EFE