As a Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden attempted to skirt the divisive issue of potentially “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court even as some in his party advocated adding justices in an effort to reverse its current conservative majority.
Days into his administration, however, reports indicate the president has begun to quietly create a framework for a commission to discuss the volatile topic.
Biden promised ‘bipartisan committee’
Prior to November’s election, Biden suggested that he would appoint a “bipartisan commission” to study what he broadly referred to as “court reform.”
As Breitbart reported, nothing has been made official as of this writing and it remains unclear exactly what the commission will recommend and even what its makeup will be.
It was in October, amid intense debate regarding the replacement of the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with conservative nominee Amy Coney Barrett, that Biden addressed rumblings among progressives who advocated court-packing as a political remedy under a Democratic-led White House and Congress.
At the time, he said he was “not a fan” of such proposals, going so far as to warn his own party against transforming the nation’s highest court into a “political football.”
According to Politico, “multiple people familiar with the discussions” being held within the Biden administration have confirmed that the president is pushing forward with his promised commission and has already appointed a handful of members.
“Committed to an expert study”
It is worth noting, however, that those alleged initial members have yet to confirm or deny the reports.
The unnamed sources indicated that the commission has been housed within the Office of the White House Counsel and is being led by Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer, who will serve as its co-chair.
The other rumored co-chair of the commission is Yale Law School professor Cristina Rodriguez, a former deputy assistant attorney general under President Barack Obama, which is sure to undermine its supposedly “bipartisan” nature in the eyes of many Americans.
Among the other individuals named as commissioners were former American Constitution Society President Caroline Fredrickson and Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith, who was an assistant attorney in the administration of President George W. Bush.
When asked for a comment regarding reports of the commission’s formation, the Biden White House issued a statement declaring: “The President remains committed to an expert study of the role and debate over reform of the court and will have more to say in the coming weeks.”