WASHINGTON — Several House Democrats are set to unveil legislation Thursday to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
Supporters of the proposal will hold a news conference on the steps of the Supreme Court building. They include U.S. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Mondaire Jones, both of New York, and Hank Johnson of Georgia, Fox News reported.
Given Democrats’ control of the White House and Senate, the legislation could allow the party to supersede the court’s current conservative majority by “packing” the Court with liberal justices.
Some Republicans quickly derided the proposal.
“Does expanding the Supreme Court count as infrastructure too?” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote on Twitter.
Does expanding the Supreme Court count as infrastructure too?
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 15, 2021
Jones responded simply: “Yes,” with a heart emoji.
Yes 🖤 https://t.co/gv3NpEnMmo
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) April 15, 2021
“Imagine if we reduced the number from nine to five and just kept the Republicans. You guys would go crazy,” Jordan added, according to the Washington Times.
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., also criticized the court plan in a proposed amendment for a bill addressing possible reparations for African-Americans, the outlet reported.
“The idea of packing the Supreme Court is so dangerous, we have to address it now,” Johnson wrote.
The legislation will propose expanding the court to 13 justices, from nine, The Intercept reported Wednesday.
The Supreme Court has had nine justices since the 19th century, though the number of justices is not specified in the Constitution.
The addition of Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 was expected to tilt the ideological power balance of the court in favor of conservatives, 6 to 3 — although Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump-appointed justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch have at times sided with the court’s liberals.