Democratic lawmakers are reportedly preparing a new bill to expand the number of seats at the nation’s highest court.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Reps. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) are widely expected to announce new bicameral legislation to increase the number of justices who can serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
These four Democrats will try to justify expanding the current limit of nine seats to 13 seats.
Fox News speculates the political stunt will deliver on the Democratic Party’s earlier threat to fill the Supreme Court with liberal justices.
“Given their control of the White House and the Senate, the legislation could allow them to supersede the current conservative majority by ‘packing’ the court with liberal justices,” Fox Business reporter Brittany De Lea said in the article.
The GOP held six seats while the Democratic Party only held three at the time of publication. This is largely thanks to former President Donald Trump’s quick appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in late 2020.
Coney Barrett’s nomination upset Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and the senator used different political means to prevent her from being confirmed as the newest Supreme Court justice. Since Schumer failed to stop her confirmation, he has suggested the Democratic Party could try to expand the number of seats.
“Not only do these extremist judges threaten more than a century of progressive achievements,” he said according to The Intercept. “They threaten to foreclose the possibility of any future progress under a Democratic administration.”
If the latest speculation proves true, the bill could potentially end the court’s tradition of appointing nine justices that dates as far back as the 19th Century. Before that there had been as many as 10 seats at the Supreme Court according to the publication.
Fox News revealed there is no specific part of the U.S. Constitution that states exactly how many justices should serve on the Supreme Court.
The Biden administration is separately expected to keep pushing for new rules that prevent justices from spending the rest of their working lives serving the court.
House Democrats previously introduced a bill to limit Supreme Court justice tenures to just 18 years and prevent the incumbent president from nominating more than two justices each four-year term.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) claimed the changes would help end partisan fighting over which side of the aisle should replace an outgoing judge.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” he said according to Reuters.
Many Supreme Court justices serve an average of more than 25 years due to rising life expectancies. Some legal academics would rather see a higher turnover of justices, according to Reuters.
Khanna’s solution is to declare justices “senior” after they finish an 18-year term and allow them to continue working in lower courts.