Biden’s Supreme Court reform study panel notes ‘considerable’ risks to court expansion

Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion

A bipartisan commission on Thursday said there are “considerable” risks to expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court, including the potential to undermine the high court’s legitimacy. President Biden had ordered the panel to study potential reforms to the high court and it released preliminary findings Thursday. Although the commission did not take positions on the proposals featured in Thursday’s materials, opting instead to highlight potential drawbacks and advantages, the group’s cautionary note about adding justices to the bench stood out. “The risks of Court expansion are considerable, including that it could undermine the very goal of some of its proponents of restoring the Court’s legitimacy. Recent polls suggest that a majority of the public does not support Court expansion,” a draft document released by the White House on Thursday states. “And as even some supporters of Court expansion acknowledged during the Commission’s public hearings, the reform—at least if it were done in the near term and all at once—would be perceived by many as a partisan maneuver.” The debate over reform comes amid a recent dropoff in the 6-3 conservative majority court’s approval rating and at the start of a blockbuster term in which the justices will hear a direct challenge to the landmark 1973 decision ruling in Roe v. Wade and a gun rights case that could result in the expansion of the Second Amendment. The court was already under heightened scrutiny for several controversial rulings made recently under its emergency, or so-called “shadow docket,” […]

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