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Biden Supreme Court Commission Votes To Send Report Taking ‘No Position’ On Court-Packing

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court voted in favor of approving its final report to Joe Biden.

The 34-member commission performed a 180-day study of potential changes to the Supreme Court, including court-packing and setting term limits for justices.

The final draft of the 288-page report didn’t offer specific recommendations, but rather provided a summary of arguments for and against critical issues ranging from court-packing to judicial term limits.

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Notably, the commission took “no position” on court-packing, which is the liberal idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court.

“Given the size and nature of the Commission and the complexity of the issues addressed, individual members of the Commission would have written the Report with different emphases and approaches,” the report’s summary read. “But the Commission submits this Report today in the belief that it represents a fair and constructive treatment of the complex and often highly controversial issues it was charged with examining.”

Regarding court-packing, the report said:

“No serious person, in either major political party, suggests court packing as a means of overturning disliked Supreme Court decisions, whether the decision in question is Roe v. Wade or Citizens United. Scholars could say, until very recently, that even as compared to other court reform efforts, ‘court-packing’ is especially out of bounds. This is part of the convention of judicial independence.”

“The commission takes no position on the validity or strength of these claims,” the report’s summary added. “Mirroring the broader public debate, there is profound disagreement among commissioners on these issues. We present the arguments in order to fulfill our charge to provide a complete account of the contemporary court reform debate.”

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Kelly Shackelford, who serves as president, CEO, and chief counsel for First Liberty Institute, said in a statement: “The American public reject court-packing and any other attempt to destabilize the judiciary. Even after numerous polls show Americans reject court-packing, far-Left progressives are clearly trying to expand their political power under the guise of ‘court reform.’”

“Expanding the membership of the United States Supreme Court is nothing more than a transparent, partisan scheme to achieve purely political objectives and exercise raw power that must be rejected,” Shackelford added.

Notably, liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer made headlines when he came out against the Democrats’ idea of packing the Supreme Court.

“I think, well, people understand to some degree why it’s a good idea what Hamilton thought. And he thought the court should be there because there should be somebody – somebody who says when the other two branches of the government have gone outside the confines of this document,” Breyer said.

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“Well, if one party could do it, I guess another party could do it,” he said. “On the surface, it seems to me you start changing all these things around and people will lose trust in the court.”

However, Breyer did say he is open to the idea of term limits instead of the current lifetime appointments.

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“I think you could do that. It should be very long-term because you don’t want the judge who’s holding that term to start thinking about his next job. But it would make life easier for me,” Breyer said.

“I don’t intend to die on the court. I don’t think I’ll be there forever,” Breyer added.

“There are many factors, in fact, quite a few,” Breyer said. “And the role of court and so forth is one of them. And the situation, the institutional considerations are some. And I believe, I can’t say I take anything perfectly into account, but in my own mind, I think about those things.”

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