Biden’s Supreme Court panel wary of big changes

President Biden’s panel to examine changes to the Supreme Court expressed wariness of any big upheavals in a draft report released ahead of a final vote Tuesday.

Ideas like splitting the court into panels, insisting on ideological balance or imposing term limits all drew objections, either on grounds of workability or because the risk of changes was too high compared with “uncertain practical benefits.”

Members dodged the issue of “packing” the court, a call by liberal activists to add seats.

Instead, the panel suggested those who want to see the court’s powers curbed should try conventional ideas, like asking Congress to assert itself more forcefully on big constitutional questions.

Mr. Biden ordered the commission in April, bowing to demands by liberal activists who complain the high court has tilted too far to the right after then-President Trump made three appointments. The court now has six justices appointed by Republican presidents, and three appointed by Democrats.

Many liberal activists have pushed to expand the court’s membership to give Mr. Biden a chance to name more justices, particularly at a time when there’s a Democratic Senate to confirm them.

But Mr. Biden’s commission was in “profound disagreement” over the idea and didn’t take a final position in its draft report.

Commissioners are slated to meet Tuesday afternoon to approve the report.


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