Joe Biden is setting up a Supreme Court reform commission that could open way to ‘court-packing’

Joe Biden has started setting up a commission that would look at Supreme Court and federal judiciary reforms, which could lead the way toward ‘court-packing’
The commission would include conservative Jack Goldsmith, who advocated for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in 2018
This appointment of Kavanaugh ultimately led to progressive Democrats to call for adding more seats to the Supreme Court
Another person Biden has tapped for his commission has said she sees validity in the idea of expanding the highest U.S. court

January 28, 2021

Joe Biden is looking at creating a commission to study reforms to the Supreme Court, a new report revealed Wednesday, which could pave the way for ‘court packing’.

Multiple people familiar with the matter told Politico that the bipartisan commission would fall under the White House Counsel’s office and would look at recommending changes to the federal judiciary overall, not just the Supreme Court.

There will be somewhere between 9 and 15 members appointed to the commission, a source familiar with discussions outlined.

Despite concerns over a progressive agenda coming from the commission, Jack Goldsmith, a vocal advocate of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment and confirmation to the Supreme Court, could frustrate Democrats.

Two others who have been tapped for the panel are Cristina Rodriguez, a Yale Law School professor who will act as co-chair of the commission – and who served as former deputy assistant attorney general in Barack Obama’s Justice Department – and Caroline Fredrickson, former president of the American Constitution Society, who is on the progressive wing of legal thought.

Biden had come under pressure to embrace expanding the Supreme Court during the 2020 campaign, and particularly when Republicans went ahead with the nomination and confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett,  giving the highest court a 6-3 conservative majority.

 But a month before the election – at the height of the controversy over Coney Barrett replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Biden declared he is ‘not a fan of court packing’ but vowed to form a commission to study any structural changes if elected.

‘The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want,’ Biden said in an October ’60 Minutes’ interview. ‘Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.’

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