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Biden Supreme Court commission debates legal process amid liberal backlash to divided approach to reform

President Biden’s Supreme Court committee meets on Friday to discuss potential court reforms after issuing wide-ranging discussion papers that addressed the court record and several other potential changes Thursday evening.

Discussion papers presented a mixed view on the stacking of courts, which has prompted backlash from some progressives who believe Biden and Congressional Democrats should fill the courtroom with several liberal judges after Republicans confirmed three judges during the tenure of former President Donald Trump.


The meeting opens at 10 a.m. with a discussion of why many are calling for court reform. Most of the substantive discussions on court congestion will likely take place between 11:10 am and 12:50 pm, when the commissioners will deliberate on “the composition and size of the court,” according to the public meeting agenda. .

In this April 23, 2021, file photo, members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated from left to right are Associate Judge Samuel Alito, Associate Judge Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Judge Stephen Breyer and Associate Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left are Associate Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Judge Elena Kagan, Associate Judge Neil Gorsuch and Associate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Many progressives, upset that former President Donald Trump was able to appoint three judges, want to fill the tribunal with more liberal judges. (Erin Schaff / The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Supporters of the enlargement of the court argue that by adding two or more seats to the Supreme Court, Democratic lawmakers could help restore the balance – and, therefore, the legitimacy of – the court. This prospect also underscores that a lack of response to harsh tactics since 2016 could encourage future aggressive action in the Senate confirmation process, “say discussion papers released Thursday about court packing.

“But the risks of expansion of the court are considerable, including the fact that it could undermine the very objective of some of its supporters to restore the legitimacy of the court,” the documents continue. “Recent polls suggest that a majority of the public does not support the enlargement of the court. And even some supporters of the enlargement of the Court admitted during the Commission’s public hearings that the reform… would be seen by many as a partisan maneuver.

The progressive president of the American Constitution Society, Russ Feingold, has hit back at the commission’s balanced approach.


“We have said from the start of the Commission that for the Commission to make a meaningful contribution to restoring the legitimacy of our judicial system, it must come up with a specific list of Supreme Court reforms that can be implemented in the short term. “, he said Thursday. . “The discussion materials published today unfortunately do not correspond to the urgency of the situation and do not offer a solution to the crisis of legitimacy that awaits us.”

Later today, the committee will also discuss potential reforms related to the term limits of judges, the potential rotation of judges, the selection of cases and the broader role of the Supreme Court within the state system of government. -United.

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