Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday aiming to prevent Democrats from packing the Supreme Court by limiting the bench to nine seats.
His proposal would cement the current 6-3 conservative majority for years to come and create a new roadblock for individuals proposing an expansion to the court, similar to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt in 1937.
Cruz had previously introduced the amendment in 2021. This time, he has the support of a number of fellow Republican senators, including senior members Mike Lee of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
"The effort to pack the Supreme Court and turn justices into politicians in robes would delegitimize and destroy one of the most important institutions in America," said Republican Sen. John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana, a sponsor of the bill.
"Congress must protect the judicial branch from political expedience by safeguarding its current structure," he added.
The move comes in the wake of a renewed effort to expand the court by Democratic activists following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, which overruled the constitutional right to an abortion.
"With a 6-3 Republican supermajority, the Supreme Court is too biased in favor of special interests and Republican politicians," argues Demand Justice, a liberal nonprofit focused on reforming the U.S. judiciary system.
"Adding four seats is the solution," the group concludes, noting that "Congress can change the number of justices on the Court at any time with a simple piece of legislation."
Still, The Hill noted that mainstream Democratic figures have remained hesitant about expanding the court. President Joe Biden firmly came out against it last year at the height of discontent surrounding Dobbs.
"Expanding the court: that is something that the president does not agree with. That is not something that he wants to do," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre assured.
If two-thirds of Congress approve Cruz's measure, then it would go to the states for potential ratification. The amendment would then need to be backed by three-fourths of the state legislatures or amendment conventions.
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