- The Washington Times - Friday, February 24, 2023

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has asked the leaders of President Biden’s panel probing an expansion of the Supreme Court to turn over their communications with each other and the White House.

Mr. Jordan’s request on Friday was joined by the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They pointed to attacks on the integrity of the court, such as Senate Democrats threatening to remake the bench if the high court were to upend gun-control measures, left-wing protesters demonstrating outside of conservative justices’ homes in the wake of national abortion rights being overturned and a California man attempting to assassinate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

The Republican lawmakers said it’s their job to provide oversight.

“The Commission’s work and ultimate report occurred during unprecedented and unrelenting attacks on the Court and its independence,” stated their letter requesting the documents.

The letter was sent to Robert Bauer and Christina Rodriguez, who led the president’s commission. They were given until March 10 to turn over documents and communications to the committee.

Mr. Biden created the commission to appease progressives in his party who called for him to add liberal justices to the high court following former President Trump’s three appointments. The Trump appointees have given the high court a 6-3 conservative majority.

The commission held a few public meetings and eventually issued a report in 2021 splitting over the controversial issue of whether the president should expand the court. The panel did, however, suggest justices should be subject to an 18-year term limit instead of serving on the court for life.

The last president to try to add justices to the high court was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, but even the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress opposed the move.

The high court has had nine justices since 1869. Before that, it fluctuated from five to 10 justices.

The Constitution does not set the number of justices for the high court, but any expansion would have to go through Congress.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide