Friday, 22 October, 2021


Supreme Court again blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities

Biden on Thursday called US gun violence an Joe Biden Signs Executive Order to Study Packing the Supreme Court 139 BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP via Getty Images Charlie Spiering9 Apr 2021
Patty Aguilar | 10 April, 2021, 21:50

In fact, if Biden does eventually yield to pressure from liberal activists and Democratic lawmakers and decides to change the size of the court, backed by a congressional majority, he will be following in the footsteps of five previous presidents - history-makers like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant.

The Supreme Court sits as the final arbiter on fundamental American legal matters, which can include minority and LGBTQ rights, racism, the death penalty and electoral controversies - and its justices are appointed for life. Imposing term limits would likely require a constitutional amendment, though some scholars have proposed ways to accomplish it by statute.

The co-chairs are Bob Bauer, Barack Obama's former White House counsel, and Cristina Rodriguez, a former official in the Obama Justice Department, The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial.

The move follows months of debate over whether Democrats should seek to expand the court beyond its current nine justices, after moves during Donald Trump's presidential term gave the bench a firm conservative majority.

The order "directs that the Commission complete its report within 180 days of its first public meeting", it added.

In the piece, published Thursday and starkly headlined "Justice Stephen Breyer Should Retire from the Supreme Court", Hasan accused Breyer of intentionally overlooking the "partisanship" of his conservative colleagues, and dismissed his position as "naive, misguided and self-serving".

The 82-year-old Breyer is the court's oldest member and the senior member of its three-justice liberal wing.

Late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a similar warning against expanding the Court in 2016 because she said it could damage judicial integrity. Breyer said in a speech Tuesday that advocates should think "long and hard" about what they're proposing.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Doocy that while looking into court packing was one of the things the commission would be looking into, that would not be the entirety of their research. "But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics". And she said the president will wait for the commission to finish its work before weighing in about the size of the court. As one of three members remaining in the court's liberal bloc, Breyer may want to step down while a Democrat is in office - much as many thought Ginsburg should have. Any effort to alter it would be explosive, particularly at a moment when Congress is almost evenly divided.

In a statement, the White House said the commission would tackle the "merits and legality" of specific high court reform proposals.

Some on the left slammed the commission's creation.

But others seemed willing to give it a chance. It wasn't until an October interview with 60 Minutes that Biden said he would be considering a bipartisan commission to explore judicial reform, not just court packing. "President Biden's commission demonstrates a strong commitment to studying this situation and taking action".

Republicans fiercely oppose the idea of what is sometimes called "court packing".

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