President Joe Biden will appoint a 180-day commission to examine the mechanisms behind the expansion of the Supreme Court. The Commission will provide a forum to discuss the matter outside of Congress, which is likely to have vastly polarized own procedures.
Although Biden has not clarified his own views on expanding the court, the decision to appoint the commission by executive order fulfills an election promise he made amid growing concerns from activists that the court is unbalanced.
"It is increasingly recognized that the Supreme Court poses a threat to the health and well-being of the nation and even to democracy itself." Aaron Belkin, director of Take Back the Court group, told the New York Times. "A White House Judiciary Reform Commission has a historic opportunity to explain the gravity of the threat and contain it by asking Congress to add seats. This is the only way to rebalance the court."
The Supreme Court has been a political focal point for both parties in recent years, especially after Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), the majority leader at the time, refused to consider then-President Barack Obama's appointment to court. McConnell argued that Supreme Court justices should not be appointed during an election year, but that logic was ultimately dismissed after Judge Amy Coney Barrett was upheld a few weeks before the election following Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.
Biden will likely get the opportunity to appoint a new judiciary, though Judge Stephen Breyer, the oldest member of the court and member of the Liberal wing, is retiring at the end of the current term.
Alan is a New York-based writer, editor, and news junkie.