The White House announced on Friday that President Joe Biden will be signing an executive order to create the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, a commission to study a potential expansion of the Supreme Court.
The commission, according to the press release, will include legal, constitutional, political science, and history scholars.
"The topics it will examine include 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," the statement reads.
"The Executive Order directs that the Commission complete its report within 180 days of its first public meeting."
Some Democrats have called for an expansion to the Supreme Court for years, with such calls significantly escalating after the swift appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the final months of President Donald Trump's term in office following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was often considered a hero by progressives.
Those in favor of Supreme Court expansion have argued that it is necessary to expand the court to preserve a partisan balance after Trump's three nominations tilted the bench in a more conservative direction. The idea would be that the Biden administration could enlarge the court and then put a bunch of his appointees on the bench, shifting the current balance of ideological power.
Opponents of court packing, the term often used to deride expansions to the bench, argue that it would undermine faith in the Supreme Court as it turns into yet another partisan battleground, and that it would set a precedent by which future Presidents could continue expanding the court.
Biden continuously refused to answer questions regarding his opinion on court packing during his 2020 election campaign, receiving intense criticism from Republicans as a result.
The last President to attempt to pack the court was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 after the court ruled a number of New Deal policies as unconstitutional. Roosevelt's expansion plans ultimately failed, with members of his own party playing a major role in defeating the proposal.