Washington: Initial progressive reaction to draft discussion materials released by the White House’s presidential commission on the Supreme Court last week was not positive, as Democratic activists and commentators derided the commission for its apparent reluctance to endorse court-packing.
“This report is an abomination,” Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern tweeted. “It assumes that today’s Supreme Court is basically apolitical while fretting that reforms with any real teeth would politicize it, and potentially break democracy. Republicans must be thrilled with this outcome. It’s a gift to the GOP.”
“For this Commission to provide a meaningful contribution to restoring the legitimacy of our judiciary, it needs to advance a specific list of Supreme Court reforms that can be acted upon in the near term,” American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold said in a statement. This Society is the left-leaning counterpart to the libertarian and conservative Federalist Society.
The term court-packing was coined when FDR proposed adding several justices to the Supreme Court because he was frustrated with the results of the court’s rulings. Many Democrats are proposing that same thing now.
The White House has emphasized that the documents the commission released were not its final document. It is also notably tasked not with making recommendations but with summarizing the debate around court reform and some potential actions Congress or the White House could take on the issue.