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Senate Republicans offer constitutional amendment to block Supreme Court packing

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Democrats under pressure to deliver on labor's 'litmus test' bill Crenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' MORE (Texas) and five other Senate Republicans have introduced a constitutional amendment to prevent Democrats from packing the Supreme Court if Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE wins the White House and Democrats capture the Senate.

The proposed amendment simply states: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.”

It would need to pass with a two-thirds super majority in both the Senate and the House and need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states, or 38 of the 50 states, within seven years after its submission for ratification.

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“Make no mistake, if Democrats win the election, they will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, expanding the number of justices to advance their radical political agenda, entrenching their power for generations, and destroying the foundations of our democratic system,” Cruz said in a statement.

“We must take action before election day to safeguard the Supreme Court and the constitutional liberties that hang in the balance,” he added.

The other Republican sponsors of the plan are Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (N.C.), Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra House Freedom Caucus chair weighs Arizona Senate bid New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees MORE (Ariz.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March MORE (Miss.), Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Kelly Loeffler's WNBA team sold after players' criticism MORE (Ga.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.). Tillis, McSally and Loeffler are face competitive reelection races this fall.

“Proposals to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court and add seats to change its ideological balance should concern every American. There have been nine seats on the Supreme Court for more than 150 years, providing stability and trust in the rule of law,” Wicker said in a statement.

Some Democrats have threatened to add justices to the high court if they win the White House and control of the Senate after the Nov. 3 election.

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Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine MORE (D-Mass.) called on fellow Democrats last month to “abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court” if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell makes failed bid to adjourn Senate after hours-long delay Paul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Senate Democrats near deal to reduce jobless boost to 0 MORE (R-Ky.) went ahead and filled late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster Bill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill MORE’s seat during the election year.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (N.Y.) isn’t ruling anything out although there doesn’t appear to be much support in the Democratic caucus for expanding the court.

“Let me be clear: If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year,” Schumer told colleagues in a call last month.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has dodged questions about whether he would support adding justices to the Supreme Court, though he said last week during a town hall event that he would make his position clear before the election. Biden has tied his position to how the Senate GOP handles Trump's nomination to the court of Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBarrett authors first Supreme Court majority opinion against environmental group Justices raise bar for noncitizens to challenge removal from US after conviction Bill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill MORE

Trump nominated Barrett to replace Ginsburg after her death in September. The Senate GOP has moved to confirm Barrett before the election, though in 2016 it refused to grant a hearing to former President Obama's nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden's justice reform should influence prosecutor appointments Politics in the Department of Justice can be a good thing What's worse, violence on the left or the right? It's a dangerous question MORE

Cruz and his GOP colleagues have also introduced a bill that would create a point of order against legislation modifying the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

It states that “it shall not be in order to consider a provision in a bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment” to modify the number of justices.

If passed, the presiding chair of the Senate would then decide if any bill or resolution violates the point of order against packing the court. A majority of senators, however, could vote to overrule the chair’s decision.