Democrats intend to announce plans to unveil legislation to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court as early as Thursday. The legislation would add four seats to court, bringing the total to 13 from the current nine.
A press conference has been scheduled for Thursday on the steps of the Supreme court featuring Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Hank Johnson, (D-GA), and Mondaire Jones (D-NY). The Supreme Court has had nine justices since 1869, though a specific number of justices is not stated in the Constitution.
The letter sent by New York representatives states that their intentions are in direct reaction to the fall 2020 nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench. In short, Democrats don't like that the court now leans conservative, and since there is little indication that a sitting Justice will step down, they want their chance to fill seats—even if they have to create those seats before they can install their leftist judges.
They claim that the court, far from being a branch of government intended for justice, is "a political institution." The intone their concern that "presidents who lost the popular vote" still have their picks for justices on the bench.
The letter reads as though it were written by representatives who are just upset that things didn't go their way during the Trump administration and they will seize any means of power in order to correct the will of the people as enacted under the former president.
Democrats began discussing expanding the size of the highest court in the country court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when they realized that President Trump would get another chance to install a justice to the highest bench.
President Joe Biden refused to admit that the Democrats were considering "packing the court" during his presidential campaign. Biden has repeatedly stated his opposition to court packing and even called it a “bonehead” idea in 1983. As recently as 2005, Biden spoke against adding justices to the bench.
However, earlier in the week Biden signed an executive order forming the "Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States" to analyze reforms for the judicial body.
The issue gained more attention after former President Donald Trump filled the vacancy left on the court by Ginsburg’s passing with Justice Amy Coney Barrett who shifted the ideological balance of the court in favor of conservatives 6 to 3. Prominent Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have been vocal in supporting the idea of packing the court.
Biden has spoken on the floor of the Senate in opposition to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s attempt to pack the court after he won a landslide victory in the 1936 election.