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US Supreme Court Commission will consider reforms

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Significance

Although the Commission represents the most concrete action on Supreme Court reform in decades, the large membership makes it unwieldy and it lacks a clear mandate to offer specific recommendations on reform proposals.

Impacts

  • The Commission may have the effect of raising awareness of alternatives beyond expanding the number of justices on the Court.
  • The Court’s size varied in the past but expansion now would bring accusations of court-packing, eroding its institutional integrity.
  • If Justice Stephen Breyer retires this year, Biden could advance a nominee for confirmation by a narrow Senate majority.
  • Biden will continue to feel pressure from the left to re-balance a rightward tilt many perceive in the Court’s membership.

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