Democrats to Introduce Bill to Expand U.S. Supreme Court by Four Seats

Congressional Democrats plan to introduce a bill on April 15 that would expand the Supreme Court by four justices.

Senator Ed Markey and Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Hank Johnson, and Mondaire Jones have scheduled a news conference to present their legislation that would expand the number of Supreme Court justices from the current nine to 13.

Progressives have been pushing to expand the Supreme Court to break the conservative grip on the body, after former President Donald Trump and Republicans appointed three conservative justices in four years, tilting the court sharply to the right.

Former Senate Democratic Leadership Aide Brian Fallon, who also co-founded Demand Justice that works to expand the court, told NBC News that the bill “marks a new era where Democrats finally stop conceding the Supreme Court to Republicans.”

“Our task now is to build a grassroots movement that puts pressure on every Democrat in Congress to support this legislation because it is the only way to restore balance to the court and protect our democracy,” Fallon further said.

However, the bill is unlikely to be approved into law due to Republicans and many moderate Democrats opposing the idea, which is sometimes called “court packing.”

President Joe Biden had previously said that he was “not a fan” of the idea.

Last week, Biden announced the creation of a 36-member bipartisan commission to study the structure of the court, including its history and the potential consequences in changing its size.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell opposed Biden’s move, stating that “there is nothing about the structure or operation of the judicial branch that requires ‘study.'” 

McConnell also called Biden’s move “a direct assault on our nation’s independent judiciary.”

The number of justices at the Supreme Court has remained nine since 1869.

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