House Democrats blocked a bill introduced by Republicans this week that would cap the number of Supreme Court justices and thwart any future attempts to expand the bench.
The bill, introduced by Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, is known informally as the “Keep the Nine” resolution. The bill would amend the United States Constitution to include language that would cap the number of United States Supreme Court justices at nine.
The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade and raised questions among Democrats of whether the Supreme Court bench should be expanded in order to prevent court stacking and the politicization of the court.
“When Washington changes the rules only to acquire power or only to maintain power, it undermines public trust in the institutions that bind Americans together. We don’t need a further undermining of these institutions,” Johnson said. “Frankly, where does it end? Once this body establishes that the size of the Court can grow, only so we can secure the preferred judicial decisions of the House Majority, where does it end?”
The bill was shot down by 218 Democrats in the House on Wednesday. Democrats have introduced their own bill that aims to expand the Supreme Court from nine to thirteen justices, including one Chief Justice and twelve associate justices.
President Joe Biden has expressed in the past he is interested in exploring the idea of expanding the Supreme Court but would want to form a commission to research and properly assess the idea.
Biden signed an executive order to form that commission in April last year and tasked them with looking into “the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO
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