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Biden begins staffing commission to study Supreme Court reform: report

Biden begins staffing commission to study Supreme Court reform: report
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The Biden administration has begun setting up a commission aimed at Supreme Court reform and the federal judiciary, according to a Politico report.

Sources close to the matter told the publication that nine to 15 people are expected to be appointed to the commission that will study court reform.

Those who are expected to be on the commission include Yale Law professor and Obama-era Deputy Assistant Attorney General Cristina Rodríguez and former American Constitution Society President Caroline Fredrickson.

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Harvard Law professor and former Bush-era Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith has also reportedly been tapped to join the commission, according to the report.

The commission will fall under the scope of the White House counsel’s office, Politico reports, with assistance from Biden campaign lawyer Bob Bauer.

As Politico notes, Fredrickson has indicated in the past that she is in favor of court reform, saying in a 2019 interview, “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 and Goldsmith's stances on court reform are less well-known than Fredrickson's, notes Politico.

In October, President BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE, then a candidate, said in a "60 Minutes" interview that he planned on putting a commission together to address court reform, though he specified at the time that it would have nothing to do with the issue of "court packing," or adding judges to federal courts.

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Biden told interviewer Norah O'Donnell, "If elected, what I will do is I'll put together a national commission of — bipartisan commission — of scholars, constitutional scholars."

"And I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it's getting out of whack, the way in which it's being handled. And it's not about 'court packing,' there's a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I've looked to see what recommendations that commission might make."

The topic of “court packing” arose after Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettSupreme Court's Cedar Point property rights decision protects both sides Supreme Court strikes down FHFA director's firing protection Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 MORE was confirmed into the Supreme Court 30 days after she was nominated, leading to a 6-3 conservative majority. Her nomination became a point of contention between Democrats and Republicans as Barrett was confirmed one week before the presidential election.

Former President Obama’s nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden emphasizes investment in police, communities to combat crime Watch live: Biden, Garland deliver remarks on gun crime prevention Energized Trump probes pose problems for Biden MORE, was denied a confirmation hearing by GOP Senate leaders at the time, citing an election that was 8 months away.