April 12, 2021
President Biden was scheduled to unveil a bipartisan commission to study structural changes to the Supreme Court on Friday, April 9, according to three people knowledgeable sources, The Washington Post reports.
The move follows the appointments of three conservatives to the court during the Trump Administration: Neil Gorsuch in 2017, Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and Amy Coney Barrett in 2020—and comes amid liberal calls for expansion to blunt the court’s conservative majority.
The commission—envisioned to include as many as three dozen people—will fulfill Biden’s campaign promise create a group to study changes to the court.
According to the Post, Biden has said he is “not a fan of court-packing,” but he faced pressure during the campaign from liberals to back changes, including court expansion, after Republicans pushed to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett shortly before the 2020 election.
The commission, however, is likely to disappoint liberals who are looking for quick action. Most of the commission’s members are academics, and they will come from a range of political backgrounds. Bob Bauer, a top lawyer on Biden’s campaign, and Cristina Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School, will chair the commission, which will be run out of the White House Counsel’s Office.
Other members include Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society, and Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor.
The three people familiar with the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. The White House declined to comment.
Research contact: @washingtonpost