President Biden announces commission to study possible reforms to Supreme Court

President Joe Biden announced the creation of a commission to study the possibility of reforms in the federal judiciary.

The commission is considered to be a “bipartisan commission to study reforms to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.” The timeline of the instatement of the commission seems to be moving forward quickly, as the administration is alleged to have already picked members for the task. Most prominent in the lineup is Biden’s campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, who will be named co-chair of the commission. 

Of the other nine to fifteen people needed to fill out the panel, there are many high-profile names in law. Among them are experts such as Yale Law Professor Cristina Rodriguez, former American Constitution Society president Caroline Fredrickson, and Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith. Most notable on this list are Cristina Rodriguez and Jack Goldsmith, who served as Assistant Attorney General under Barack Obama and George W. Bush respectively [The Hill].

This has been a plan of President Biden’s since he spoke with Norah O’Donnell of “60 Minutes” during an interview in October. When asked, he clarified that such a commission on court reform would have nothing to do with “court packing”, which has been a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats as the Biden Administration took office. In a direct quote from the now-president during his interview with O’Donnell, Biden stated “And I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack, the way in which it’s being handled. And it’s not about ‘court packing,’ there’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated, and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make” [60 Minutes].

While Biden’s plan regarding the creation of the commission is clear and could easily draw bipartisan support, dissenters to the plan cite the past notions of the members alleged to be chosen. The most conflict comes via statements from Caroline Fredrickson, who states “I often point out to people who aren’t lawyers that the Supreme Court is not defined as ‘nine person body’ in the Constitution, and it has changed size many times.” 




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