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.
The Supreme Court can be expanded by an act of Congress, but the legislation is highly unlikely to become law in the near future given Democrats' slim majorities, which include scores of lawmakers who are not on board with the idea.
Speaking on the steps of the high court from a lectern with an "Expand the Court" placard, the lawmakers cited the decisions of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to refuse a hearing on a nominee during the final year of President Barack Obama's term and to push through a nominee during the final months of President Donald Trump's term.
In the Senate, the bill is being championed by Ed Markey of MA. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Mondaire Jones of NY.
"Speaker Pelosi is a very good judge of events and of and of history", Nadler said, adding that once the current court hands down more "destructive" decisions, "Speaker Pelosi and others will come along". Republicans now hold 6 seats, while Democrats hold just 3 after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the quick confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. "But the logic behind having only nine justices is much weaker today, when there are 13 circuits". "Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our Constitution, this stands as one of his greatest travesties".
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. "Senate Republicans have politicized the Supreme Court, undermined its legitimacy, and threatened the rights of millions of Americans, especially people of color, women, and our immigrant communities".
Nearly certain to face uniform Republican opposition, the bill falls on the heels of Biden's executive order last Friday empaneling a bipartisan commission to study how to reform the Supreme Court, a study that the president promised on the campaign trail.
"Our task now is to build a grassroots movement that puts pressure on every Democrat in Congress to support this legislation because it is the only way to restore balance to the Court and protect our democracy", Fallon said. All three groups advocate adding justices.