GOP Senators Propose Constitutional Amendment to Block Packing the Supreme Court

BY JANITA KAN | October 19, 2020 | Updated: October 19, 2020

A group of Republican senators on Monday unveiled a constitutional amendment to prevent Democrat lawmakers from expanding the Supreme Court if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the White House and Senate.

“Make no mistake, if Democrats win the election, they will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, expanding the number of justices to advance their radical political agenda, entrenching their power for generations, and destroying the foundations of our democratic system,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a statement.

This comes after Democrats from both chambers threatened to expand the Supreme Court if Senate Republicans move forward with filling a vacancy left by liberal Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Constitution states, “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

The bar to amend the Constitution is very high as it requires two-thirds of the House and Senate to approve the text of the amendment and then requires three-quarters of the states to ratify the amendment. Given the current division in the country, such as effort is unlikely to succeed.

Last month, Reps. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) and Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.) proposed a similar amendment to permanently set the number of Supreme Court justices at nine.

The congressman said they were worried that partisan efforts to expand the court’s size could set off a battle that could further polarize the country.

Biden and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have repeatedly refused to give their position on whether they support or oppose proposals to pack the Supreme Court.

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