WASHINGTON — Congress is gearing up for a fight over the size of the Supreme Court. Republicans want to prevent court packing but some Democrats are hoping to block their bill.
Currently, nine justices sit on the Supreme Court. Congressman Dusty Johnson is leading a charge to keep it that way.
“We need to keep the nine,” Johnson said. “We don’t want the size of this Supreme Court to ping-pong up and down just on the basis of the most recent Federal Election.”
Johnson and other Republicans are pushing to pass a constitutional amendment that would cement the number of seats on the high court.
They say it’s a direct response to Democrats who want to expand the court. Republicans argue that would erode the balance of power between the branches, making the court more political and less independent.
“You shouldn’t use political weaponization to try to change the outcome of the court for political purposes. They need to remain separate,” Congressman Greg Steube said.
With a conservative majority on the court expected to last for decades, some Democrats believe the court is already political, and say adding seats could fix that.
Congresswoman Judy Chu was part of a group trying to bring the total number of Supreme Court justices to 13.
“The only way that we’re going to be able to achieve balance is to expand the Supreme Court,” Chu said.
Not all of her Democratic colleagues agree. Congressman Ro Khanna favors other reforms.
“Why not have term limits for Supreme Court Justices,” Khanna said.
In the Republican-controlled House, the bill to cap seats on the court has a chance of passing. Congressman Johnson says he’s already having conversations with Senators to try to get them to pass it too.