The proponents of the bill hope to generate more support for a possible overhaul.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said it made sense to enlarge the court given its complex workload and the growth of the federal judicial system since the composition of the Supreme Court last changed in 1869, no the Constitution, and it was amended several times in the nation’s early days.
“Nine judges in the 19th century, when there were only nine cycles, and many of our most important federal laws may have made sense – from civil rights to antitrust, internet, financial regulation, health care, immigration to employee crime – just didn’t exist and didn’t require a decision by the Supreme Court, ”said Nadler, another sponsor of the bill. “But the logic behind just nine judges is much weaker today when there are 13 circuits.”
Republicans immediately attacked the idea, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, called it a “crazy” bill and found that even liberal members of the court opposed the idea.
“By the way, the public agrees,” he said in the Senate. “You see through this discredited concept.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina and senior judicial committee member, called it a “terrible idea”.
“If this succeeds, it will inevitably result in the number of Supreme Court judges changing every time power shifts,” he said.
Republican politicians were quick to criticize the proposal to expand the court, which also appeared in the Senate in 2020, signaling that the party would try to use the issue to portray Democrats as radical even if the legislation fails.