By Katie Barlow
on May 19, 2021
at 4:37 pm
Members of the commission take an oath during the first public session on Zoom
President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court commission met for the first time in public on Wednesday. Although the meeting mainly consisted of formalities, the commissioners previewed some of the issues they will examine over the next six months, including proposals to increase the number of judges, impose term limits, limit the jurisdiction of the court, or Order that only a majority of the courts have jurisdiction Members can invalidate an act of Congress.
Biden appointed the 36-person commission after many Liberals urged Congress to expand the court or carry out other reforms. The commission, made up of legal scholars, retired judges and practicing lawyers, has the task of examining various reform ideas and submitting a report to the President. However, it will not suggest taking any particular action or avoiding it.
“We are not tasked with making specific recommendations,” Christina Rodríguez, co-chair of the commission, told the group. “Rather, we should provide an assessment of the merits and legitimacy of certain reform proposals that are being discussed today.”
Rodríguez, a professor at Yale Law School and a former Justice Department official, shared the driver’s seat with co-chair Bob Bauer, a NYU law professor and former White House attorney for President Barack Obama. The virtual meeting began with the swearing-in of the commissioners present and the approval of the commission’s statutes.
Several members then summarized the five areas the Commission will examine: (1) The genesis of the reform debate, including why Supreme Court reform has been a debate throughout the country’s history and what has recently been the factors to debate Contribute to (2) the role of the court in our constitutional system, including debates about the scope of judicial review and the court’s power to invalidate the actions of other branches of government, (3) tenure and turnover of judges, (4) membership and size of the court, including proposals to expand the size of the court; and (5) the court’s case selection process, the shadow minutes, and the court’s interactions with the public.
The meeting was scheduled for 90 minutes, but the commission was interrupted in less than half an hour.
The Commission will hold six public meetings over the next 180 days, the final report of which will be presented to the President. At least two of these meetings, one in late June and one in late July, will contain public statements from 24 witnesses who will provide written statements and answer questions from Commissioners.
The Commission will publish drafts of the report on its website, along with records of its public meetings. Bauer emphasized the Commission’s wish for public comments on the five priority areas, which should be submitted by August 15th.
The next public meeting of the commission will be held at the end of June with testimony.