Democrats introduce legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court

April 15 – Two Senators and two House members will make a formal proposal today to add four members to the United States Supreme Court.

That would take the court to 13 members.

Last week President Biden announced a commission that would study Supreme Court reform – everything from the size of the court to term limits to Supreme Court justices.

But apparently, these four Democrats couldn’t wait for the commission.

It’s very possible that this goes back to events from 2016.

Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away and then-president Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court.

But the Republican-controlled Senate at the time said there could never be a justice confirmed during a presidential election year.

Fastforward to 2020 when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. Suddenly, the policy of not appointing a justice during a presidential election year changed and Brett Kavanaugh came on board.

There seems to still be a lot of heartburn over that in the Democrat camp.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen discussed the Supreme Court this morning on First News.

“Those are the examples you’ll see these Democrats cite,” Barkdoll said. “They look at these seats (as being) ‘stolen’ even though the Republicans controlled the Senate and they legitimately did what they did but I think you’re going to see that injected into this discussion. When you start altering the composition of these institutions, we’re on a very dangerous road. I really hope some cooler heads in the Democrats stand up today and say ‘hey, this is too far, we are not going to get behind this and support this proposal.’”

Ryan said, “I don’t know why you’re counting on cooler heads in the Democrat party. You haven’t heard a damn word out of (Senator) Bob Casey at all about much of anything.” (Still waiting on Casey’s stand on the catastrophe on the Southern Border).

What happened to the appointed commission, though? There was supposed to be six months of analyzing and studying this issue carefully.

“So the commission is formed,” Barkdoll said. “But I guess these four (House and Senate members) today are saying they don’t care what the commission says, this is what we want.”

The number of Supreme Court justices are not prescribed by the constitution.

The court has had nine justices since the 1800s. Prior to that, the number has fluctuated higher or lower.

Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court in the early 1900s and he couldn’t get it done.

This isn’t a constitutional issue – if the majority votes in both chambers are there, this could go through.

Barkdoll pointed out, “Look I understand these arguments about Garland and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. There were clear inconsistencies in the Republican position, but I think when you start altering the composition of these institutions, we’ve lost the country. If the Supreme Court becomes just another political entity and then the next president and the next Congress can add three or four more justices, I think we are all in real trouble. It’s just not the way this should be done.”

Jansen added that when Roosevelt tried to do this, his own party stopped him.

“Now we have a party that has embraced this,” she said. “How anybody can’t see this as just absolute authoritarian, tyrannical grab of power. That’s what it is. There’s no justification for this other than we’re just going to force this through.”

One of the reasons would likely be that six of the nine justices are conservatives and the balance is off.

“No we do not have six conservative Supreme Court justices,” Jansen continued. Have you seen some of the decisions lately, people? The six are more constitutional, meaning they’re not being activists, but they’re trying to follow the constitution. It’s obvious this is a power grab. I don’t know how they can with a straight face go forward with this.”

Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal justice, came out very clearly saying there should not be any additions to the Supreme Court.

Barkdoll noted, “Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are not the extreme conservatives that they were advertised to be. The irony of this is the Democrats are making this proposal that we have this conservative court. Yes, they lean right, but over the last year or so, they have joined the liberal justices in many cases.”

They may pitch the idea that the court is conservative, but that may not be how the story plays out.

“I think the court is fairly balanced,” Barkdoll said. “They will go each way depending on the issue. I think for a society and as a country that’s kind of what you want. You don’t want a court that is always extreme left or extreme right. You need a balance. They’re painting this picture that everything is to the right, every decision they make is to the right. I just don’t really think that’s true.”

Will the votes be in Congress to add justices? That’s the bottom-line question to all of this.

We’ll have to see what the future holds. 

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