Biden starts staffing a commission on Supreme Court reform
He pushed the idea as a candidate during the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation fight. Now, he’s getting it going. After refusing the answer questions about court packing for months in fear of losing voters who care about democracy and don’t want to be RULED.
The Biden administration is moving forward with the creation of a bipartisan commission to study reforms to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.
The commission will be housed under the purview of the White House Counsel’s office and filled out with the behind-the-scenes help of the Biden campaign’s lawyer Bob Bauer. Its specific mandate is still being decided. But, in a signal that the commission is indeed moving ahead, some members have alreadybeen selected, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.
Among those who will be on the commission are Cristina Rodríguez, a professor at Yale Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama Department of Justice, who has been tapped to co-chair the commission. Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society, and Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush Department of Justice, will also serve on the commission, those familiar with discussions said.
Fredrickson has hinted that she is intellectually supportive of ideas like court expansion. In 2019, she said in an interview with Eric Lesh, the executive director of the LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York: “I often point out to people who aren’t lawyers that the Supreme Court is not defined as ‘nine person body’ in the Constitution, and it has changed size many times.”
Rodríguez’s opinions on court reforms are less clear. Goldsmith’s selection, meanwhile, is likely to be the one to frustrate progressives. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Goldsmith did not support Trump and is a friend and co-author of Bauer. But he was a vocal advocate of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the high court — an appointment that sparked Democratic advocacy for expanding the number of Supreme Court seats.
“He will also be an influential figure within the Supreme Court building,” Goldsmith wrote in 2018 about Kavanaugh in a Time article titled, “Brett Kavanaugh Will Right the Course of the Supreme Court.” “He is a brilliant analyst with a deep scholarly and practical knowledge of the law. His legal opinions are unusually accessible. He is a magnanimous soul.”
The White House declined to comment. But a source familiar with the discussion expects between nine and 15 members total to be appointed to the commission.
Rodríguez and Goldsmith did not respond to a request for comment, and Fredrickson declined to comment.
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