Human Rights & Democracy

June 8, 2022: Enlarging the Supreme Court

Posted on June 08, 2022 at 12:00 AM

By Zina Greene, Member, Human Rights & Democracy Task Force

When Democrats get out the vote, as democracy demands we do, and when we keep and improve our Senate majority, we can end the filibuster and pass all the legislation that we have fought for these past 2 years. This includes: meaningful gun control; permanent freedom for women to have an abortion, use contraception, and enter into marriage of their choice; LGBTQ+ people living in dignity without harassment and discrimination; enacting environmental justice; and, most important, assuring voting rights for all people without discrimination or gerrymandering. 

BUT WAIT! How will fair and righteous laws survive our current Supreme Court? It is true that the justices cannot go out and create these cases, but the radical right will be working to do so from the minute these laws are being drafted.

Work has already been done by a commission President Biden selected to assess the Supreme Court. It was completed and its 275 pages submitted to the President at the end of 2021 with little fanfare or public attention. Chapters are entitled: (1) the History of Reforms and Reform Debates; (2) Membership and Size of the Court; (3) Term Limits; (4) The Court’s Role in the Constitutional System; (5) The Supreme Court’s Procedures and Practices.  This fifth chapter includes emergency orders (the “shadow” court), judicial ethics. and courtroom transparency. This very worthwhile read can be accessed at:  .  

Since then, freshman Congressman Mondaire Jones, along with Congressmen Johnson and Nadler, submitted HR 2584 known as the Judiciary Act of 2021 to enlarge the Supreme Court from 9 to 12 members.

In following dispatches I will review, highlight, and summarize the learned panel’s report. However, In the meantime, we as individuals should take a public stand to encourage Democrats to run on enlarging the Supreme Court, and any other changes of their procedures and practices that we determine to be appropriate (e.g., ethics).

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