READ THE BILL: Democrats announce Supreme Court expansion legislation

Carla Harmon
April 15, 2021

Congressional Democrats plan to introduce legislation on Thursday to expand the U.S. Supreme Court by four justices, a proposal aimed at breaking the conservative grip on the court that promises to draw fierce opposition from Republicans.

Jerry Nadler of NY, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats are still angry that President Barack Obama's court nominee, Merrick Garland, was blocked by Senate Republicans for almost a year and never given a hearing, as well as the rushed confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, just before last November's election. Senator Ed Markey is reportedly supporting it as well. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Mondaire Jones of NY.

But it represents an undercurrent of progressive fury at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for denying a vote in 2016 to then-President Barack Obama's pick to fill a vacancy, citing an election year, before confirming Trump nominee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the week before the 2020 election.

Nadler argued that given the fact that there are now 13 federal appeals courts, it is logical to have 13 justices to oversee the corresponding circuits, as was the previous tradition.

The bill's shutdown is just the latest play in a long-running divide between Ms Pelosi and the liberal wing of the Democrat party.

The bill would add four seats to the high court, bringing the total to 13, from the current 9. "Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our Constitution, this stands as one of his greatest travesties". Biden proposed the measure as a way to mitigate accusations of politically-motivated "court packing" by including both parties in the process.

Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) echoed that argument, saying, "The Republicans stole two seats on the Supreme Court and now it is up to us to fix that damage". Eastern Time at the steps of the Supreme Court, along with representatives of the left-leaning advocacy groups Take Back The Court, Demand Justice and Democracy Policy of Indivisible.

"This bill marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans", said Brian Fallon, a former Senate Democratic leadership aide and a co-founder of Demand Justice, who described the court as "broken and in need of reform".

Last Friday President Joe Biden signed an executive order to create the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States.

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