A bipartisan effort from Reps. Collin Peterson and Denver Riggleman seeks to codify the nine-seat Supreme Court panel of justices, and undermine attempts to expand the high court.
Mr. Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, and Mr. Riggleman, Virginia Republican, introduced a constitutional amendment this week to limit lawmakers’ ability to reshape the court.
The two argued that attempts to “pack the court” will only worsen partisan divisions and lead to retaliation and the deterioration of American institutions down the road.
“The Supreme Court is an important part of our country’s system of checks and balances, and it is vital that we preserve its independence,” Mr. Peterson said.
Currently, the number of justice’s on the Supreme Court is set only by statute. The size of the court hasn’t been changed since 1869, when it was increased from seven to nine.
Attempting to amend the Constitution is a tall order, however. In order to be formally proposed, the amendment would need to be passed by a 2/3 majority in both chambers of Congress. It would then need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states to go into effect.
Some on the left, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, have called in the past to expand the number of justices.
President Trump is expected to name his nominee Saturday and Senate Republicans are eyeing a start to the confirmation process by next month.
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