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Biden Commission Punts On Supreme Court Packing: “there is profound disagreement among Commissioners on these issues”

Biden Commission Punts On Supreme Court Packing: “there is profound disagreement among Commissioners on these issues”

So court packing is dead? Just you wait. If SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade in the Mississippi abortion case, well, the screams could become, ahem, an insurrection.

Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court. Ooooh, how they want pack it. It was a major campaign issue during the 2020 primaries, but Biden played coy on the issue during the general election, ultimately leaving the door open to Supreme Court packing.

In response to Democrat protests over the nomination and fast approval of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Biden left the door open:

 

GS: Well, right now it looks like they’re going to have a vote around Halloween. So if they vote on it, it’s before the election. If they vote on before the election, you are open to expanding the court.

BIDEN: I’m open to considering what happens from that point on.

GS: You know you said so many times during the campaign, all through the course of your career, it’s important to level …?

BIDEN: Well, it is, but George, if I, if I say no matter what answer I gave you, if I say it, that’s the headline tomorrow, it won’t be about what’s going on now. The improper way they’re proceeding.

GS: But don’t voters have a right to know where you are.

BIDEN: They do have a right to know what I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote.

GG: So you’ll come out with a clear position before election day.

BIDEN: Yes. Depending on how they handle this.

[Video via Curtis Houck Twitter]

Biden took the first step toward court packing by appointing a Commission to consider various alternatives. Biden did not request a recommendation of which way to go, but a favorable analysis of court packing would have given life to Democrat efforts.

The Commission just issued its report, and it punted:

The bipartisan commission appointed by President Biden to study possible changes to the federal judiciary unanimously approved a final report on Tuesday that flagged “profound disagreement” among its members over the issue that led to the panel’s creation: calls to expand or “pack” the Supreme Court with additional justices.

By a vote of 34 to 0, the commission approved a 288-page report that offered a critical appraisal of arguments for and against that and many other ideas for changes to the Supreme Court, including imposing 18-year term limits on justices and reducing their power to strike down acts of Congress.

But the group did not offer specific recommendations….

Here’s the Executive Summary section as to court “expansion” (emphasis added):

Chapter 2 examines proposals to expand or otherwise alter the current structure of the Supreme Court. The Chapter begins by presenting a brief history of past efforts to alter the sizeof the Court,dating back to the nineteenth century.It then proceeds to considerthe legality of Court expansion, concluding based on text, structure, and history that Congress has broad authority to modify the Court’s size.

The Chapter then describes arguments made in the public debate both for and against Court expansion. Supporters contend that Court expansion is necessary to address serious violations of norms governing the confirmation process and troubling developments in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence that they see as undermining the democratic system. Opponents contend that expanding—or “packing”—the Court would significantly diminish its independence and legitimacy and establish a dangerous precedent that could be used by any future political force as a means of pressuring or intimidating the Court. The Commission takes no position on the validity or strength of these claims. Mirroring the broader public debate, there is profound disagreement among Commissioners on these issues. We present the arguments in order to fulfill our charge to provide a complete account of the contemporary Court reform debate.

I don’t think that was the answer Democrats were seeking. The non-position was reiterated in the report (at p. 83-84):

As we noted at the outset of this there is profound disagreement among Commissioners over whether adding Justices to the Supreme Court at this moment in time would be wise . As a Commission we have endeavored to articulate the contours of that debate as best as we understand them, without purporting to judge the weight of any of the arguments offered in favor or against calls to increase the size of the Court.

So court packing is dead? Just you wait. If SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade in the Mississippi abortion case, well, the screams could become, ahem, an insurrection.

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Comments

Telling this administration that something may not be wise probably sounds like a dare to them.

there is profound disagreement among Commissioners over whether adding Justices to the Supreme Court at this moment in time would be wise.

Wise politically, of course, in the short term. They wouldn’t have cared about whether it would be good for the country in the long term.

They’ve begun to realize that any weapon they try to use against Republicans would inevitably be turned against them — especially after the 2024 election.

    Milhouse in reply to McGehee. | December 8, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Why on earth would you say something like that? Several of the commissioners are solid conservative people who care deeply about what is good for the country. Presumably they are the ones who believed that adding justices at this time would be unwise, and thus prevented a consensus on doing so.

      “Presumably,” you say?

      I find it safer to presune that a commission empaneled by the Bidenista regime consists of Democrats and more Democrats.

        Milhouse in reply to McGehee. | December 8, 2021 at 2:22 pm

        The commission’s membership was published when it was established, so there is no room for presumption about it. And if you had bothered to look it up you would have immediately found that your lazy “presumption” is wrong.

        My presumption, on the other hand, is legitimate, since it’s about the arguments the various commissioners made in private. Since we know there are solid reliable conservatives on the commission, and we now know that some commissioners argued that expanding the court at this time is unwise, it is simple common sense to presume that it was primarily the conservative commissioners who made that argument. Whether they managed to persuade any of their less conservative colleagues to join them on this we cannot know.

“No packing, if they do as we say, If they don’t: packing.”

The left doesn’t play by the rules. None of them.

If we continue to play ‘fair’ in this lawless war against us for our nation, we deserve to perish.

The Friendly Grizzly | December 8, 2021 at 2:04 am

Pack and go to Waze. After all, if the Republicans ever get back in the White House again and get a majority in the Senate we can really pack the court with good conservatives! You know, Roberts, Kavanaugh, that new woman whstshername… Oh, wait…

Never mind…

Let’s hope the only thing president puddin’ pants is packing is his diaper.

So, 34 unnamed swamp dwellers drew nice paychecks to write 288 pages that essentially mean nothing in the end

Close enough, for government work

    Milhouse in reply to murkyv. | December 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

    What do you mean, “unnamed”? Their names are public record, and several of them are good reliable conservatives. Presumably they were the ones opposed to adding justices at this time. Maybe they even persuaded some of the leftist commissioners that it would be a bad idea.

      AnAdultInDiapers in reply to Milhouse. | December 8, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Are they good reliable conservatives or solid conservatives, or maybe, just possibly, quite astonishingly merely people to whom any label is anathema.

      Is it too much to ask that people consider the issues without needing to label everything and use those labels to support false presumptions and agenda laden narratives?

        We know that several of the commissioners are good, solid, reliable conservatives. That isn’t speculation, it’s a fact. Who argued how is speculation, but it doesn’t take much to speculate that the conservatives made a conservative argument. It would be astonishing if they didn’t.

Meanwhile, another day, another major McConnell gift to the Democrats.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/12/07/house-passes-defense-bill-moves-to-lift-debt-ceiling-after-bipartisan-agreement-national-defense-authorization-act/

This is ALL on McConnell. Just like the multi-trillion dollar”infrastructure” boondoggles and so much more. Nothing will get undone until we replace ALL of the senators, not just the Democrat senators.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 8, 2021 at 8:00 am

    We need the funding for the war in the Ukraine and Taiwan, donchaknow.

    Besides you and I, where is the outrage??

    McConnell is on the swamp side, not America’s. The man is poison.

    So, we’re learning, is Dan Crenshaw (the fake conservative with the eye patch).

    Hollymon in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 8, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    “Nothing will get undone until we replace ALL of the senators, not just the Democrat senators.” So, how long is that? Assuming every single senator is replaced in their next election, it’s at least thirteen years away. Then again, we could try to expedite the process, maybe stage another Redneck Woodstock.

    Translation: Get real, will you?

    From my point of view, Mitch deserves a lifetime pass for keeping Merritt Garland off the court.

How could anyone “punt” on this issue? You’re either a believer in the Framer’s Constitution or you are not. It could not be more simple. If you believe packing the Supreme Court is a good idea, then you are an agenda-driven ideologue who is bent on political dominance.

You don’t even hear the likes of Stench McConnell calling for Court Packing.

Pretty simple, really.

I don’t think the court is going to blow up abortion in this case. I think they’ll weaken the so called “Right” and shorten the time you can perform an abortion IF the state wants it.

If they don’t uphold the Mississippi law, I think it’s moot. By the time the states figure out they’ve got a winning strategy in making the medical requirements for clinics to perform abortions stringent, the Senate will be out of Democrat hands.

I think if Republicans “Sweep” in 2024 they should support and pass an Amendment to the Constitution that expands the court 2 seats for every 100 million in population, and locks it at 9 till we hit 400 million in the census.

The court expands as Democrats CLAIM they want, but it’s not political. A Win-Win situation.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to Dwo888. | December 9, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    I don’t think your solution is a good one. If you add 2 Justices for each 100 million in population, the Court will eventually get way too large. A better solution is to require a 2/3 vote in both Houses of Congress for any bill that changes the number of Justices on the Supreme Court, or even require that it pass a 2/3 vote twice with a general election intervening. That way it is unlikely to happen whenever expanding the court is a partisan issue, or when one side has a temporary but overwhelming majority.

There are some comments that facts don’t support. I don’t see that we have man/not zero but not more than 5 R in Congress that are warriors/fighters except during the election cycle when they need “To Take A Stand” Vote For Me”. Why should SCOTUS be able to decide anything other than here are the enumerated powers that congress was given/all the rest must stay home. More rules equals more corruption

Their report is actually pretty good as it does go into all the problems with various schemes to pack the court, limit the terms of Justices, or limit jurisdiction. It shows how much the provisions of the Constitution interlock and how much you have to change other things if you change one thing. But it has one glaring omission. It discusses the obvious problems with Senate confirmation of Justices if terms were fixed, but does not discuss an obvious solution that is done at the State level – making the Justices elected officials or voter-confirmed.