Adding another executive order to a list that already exceeds seventeen other presidents’ totals, Joe Biden will create a commission to consider packing the Supreme Court, the White House has announced.
The commission, led by former Obama White House attorneys Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez, will examine the political feasibility of increasing the number of Supreme Court seats to allow Biden to appoint justices who will rule in favor of Democrats on issues including abortion, gun control, and future election disputes.
The number of justices on the Supreme Court has remained at nine for 151 years.
Democrats have expressed frustration for the last seven months over the fact that President Trump was able to deliver three justices to the Court as a result of the deaths of Antonin Scalia (age 79) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age 87), and the retirement of Anthony Kennedy (now 84).
The last serious attempt the pack the Supreme Court was made in the 1930s by Biden’s fellow Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose agenda had met with several defeats there. The proposed change to the number of Court seats was considered so potentially destructive to American democracy that Roosevelt’s own vice-president and the party turned on him, warning him to back down. The Chief Justice at the time, Charles Evans Hughes, also made a rare public statement condemning the president’s challenge to the ordinary rule of law.