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Biden begins launch of promised commission to 'reform' the Supreme Court

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Is court packing and more ahead?

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden has begun staffing his promised commission to "reform" the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, an undertaking he vowed in October would go on to address court packing as well as "a number of other things."

What are the details?

The commission — which is to be housed under the purview of the White House Counsel's office and chaired by Biden campaign lawyer Bob Bauer — "is indeed moving ahead [with] some members have already been selected," Politico reported Wednesday.

Those reportedly added to the commission so far include Cristina Rodríguez, a Yale Law School professor and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama Justice Department; Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society; and Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and a former assistant attorney general in the Bush Department of Justice.

Politico noted that while Rodríguez's opinions on court reforms are "less clear," Fredrickson, on the other hand, has been rather vocal about her support for ideas like court packing.

"I often point out to people who aren't lawyers that the Supreme Court is not defined as 'nine person body' in the Constitution, and it has changed size many times," she reportedly told Eric Lesh, the executive director of the LGBT Bar Association, in 2019.

Goldsmith, for what it's worth, may serve as a check on any radical progressive agenda. According to Politico, though he was not a Trump supporter, he did back Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination.

What's the background?

Back in October when Biden announced his intentions to launch the commission, he was embroiled in controversy due to his refusal to answer whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court in response to Justice Amy Coney Barrett's nomination.

"It's not about court packing," Biden claimed regarding the forthcoming commission during a "60 Minutes" interview. "There's a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I've looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.'

"There's a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing," he added. "The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football — whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations."

Whether or not adding seats to the Supreme Court will come as a result of the commission remains to be seen, but conservatives may still be concerned over its formulation in the first place.

As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey aptly points out, despite Biden's insistence that the commission will be bipartisan, "there's only party demanding changes to the top court's structure" — and it's not the Republican Party.

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