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Politics: Biden commission punts on whether to recommend expanding Supreme Court

Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in blockbuster abortion case

  Mississippi asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in blockbuster abortion case The state's legal argument is the sharpest framing yet of the dispute as Mississippi engages in a frontal assault on the right to abortion.The high court agreed in May to hear a challenge to Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, giving its new, six-member conservative majority a chance to roll back the 1973 ruling that women have a constitutional right to abortion.

WASHINGTON — President Biden on Friday ordered a 180-day study of adding seats to the Supreme Court , making good on a campaign-year promise to establish a bipartisan commission to examine the potentially explosive subjects of expanding the court or setting term limits for justices. The issue of whether to alter the size of the court , which has been set at nine members since just after the Civil War, is highly charged, particularly when Congress is almost evenly divided between the two parties.

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is punting on the hypothetical question of how Democrats should retaliate if Republicans reverse their approach from 2016 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. Asked by WBAY-TV in Wisconsin whether he'd be open to adding Supreme Court seats if the vacancy is filled and Democrats win full control, Biden said he intends to keep the focus on stopping President Donald Trump's nomination. “It’s a legitimate question.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court commission is not planning on making a recommendation on whether to expand the size of the court, according to a draft report obtained Monday by NBC News.

  Biden commission punts on whether to recommend expanding Supreme Court © Provided by NBC News

“The Commission takes no position on the validity or strength” of arguments for or against expanding the number of justices, the report said.

Instead, the report discusses the historical overview of court reform discussions, scenarios of expanding the Supreme Court, questions about the scope of the judiciary and judicial ethics.

The decision not to make a recommendation is likely to anger liberals who called for adding justices following the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

'Roe' on the line as Supreme Court takes up abortion rights case

  'Roe' on the line as Supreme Court takes up abortion rights case The Supreme Court will hear a case from Mississippi that could transform abortion rights in America, overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing stringent new state laws. "This is the most important Supreme Court case on abortion since Roe in 1973, and I don't think it's particularly close," said Sherif Girgis, Notre Dame law professor and former clerk to Justice Samuel Alito.

Members of the commission discussed whether to expand the number of justices or impose term limits, according to preliminary draft materials released on Thursday. The documents are to be used as a source of debate by members of the commission who will prepare a report for Biden and turn it over to him With some Democrats wanting to expand the court to counter the 6-3 conservative majority, the commission warned that "rather than calm the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court , expansion could further degrade the confirmation process." "There could be significant battles over

“ Commissioners are divided on whether court expansion would be wise,” one draft paper said. “The risks of court expansion are considerable, including that it could undermine the very goal of some of its proponents of restoring the court ’s legitimacy.” “Recent polls suggest that a majority of the public “A bipartisan group of experienced Supreme Court practitioners who testified before the commission concluded that an 18-year term limit ‘warrants serious consideration,’” it said, adding that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Breyer and Elena Kagan “have noted the potential benefits of term

Biden created the commission in April to study the expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. He first proposed the commission as a presidential candidate, when the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and subsequent rapid confirmation of then-President Donald Trump’s nominee in the final weeks of the presidential election led many progressives to urge Biden to consider expanding the number of justices. Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and veteran of politically charged confirmation battles, has not publicly embraced such a move.

The commission, consisting of more than two dozen experts, reviewed not just questions about the size of the Supreme Court, but also structural changes like term limits and reducing the power of the federal judiciary.

3 lawyers readying arguments in high court abortion case

  3 lawyers readying arguments in high court abortion case WASHINGTON (AP) — Leading up to Wednesday's major abortion case at the Supreme Court, the justices have heard from thousands of people and organizations urging the court to either save or scrap two historic abortion decisions. But on Wednesday they'll hear from just three lawyers: one representing the state of Mississippi, another representing Mississippi's only abortion clinic and the last representing the Biden administration. For each, it’s a chance to be part of what is likely to be a historic case. The three are scheduled to appear before the justices for just over an hour's worth of arguments in Dobbs v.

Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett arrive for the inauguration of President Joe Biden on the West Front of the US Capitol on Jan. On the campaign trail, Biden last year pledged to create a court reform commission . But at the time, Biden said that while he believed the Supreme Court was “getting out of whack,” he was “not a fan of court packing.” Many Democrats want to expand the number of justices after former President Donald Trump successfully nominated three justices.

The number of Supreme Court justices has remained at nine since 1869, but Congress has the power to change the number and did so several times before that. Imposing term limits would likely require a constitutional amendment, though some scholars have proposed ways to accomplish it by statute. It will hold public meetings and have 180 days to report its findings. Biden promised in October, late in the presidential election campaign, to establish the commission - a step that enabled him to avoid taking a firm position on the proposal floated by some liberals to expand the court , though he has opposed


Video: Several former Trump administration officials face deadline to appear before Jan. 6th committee (NBC News)

The panel's initial findings, released in October based on months of public hearings and research, revealed that its members were divided on the issue of altering the structure and size of the court.

“As a legal matter, we conclude that Congress has broad power to structure the Supreme Court by expanding (or contracting) the number of Justices. The prudential question is more difficult, and Commissioners are divided on whether Court expansion would be wise," the October report stated.

Monday's draft report details the difference of opinions among commissioners about the various questions they were asked to examine. A source familiar with the panel's work told NBC News that there has never been a commission of this size on this issue and that the contributions it makes to the debate are unique.

Abortion: Challenge to Mississippi law could provide answer to Roe v. Wade's fate

  Abortion: Challenge to Mississippi law could provide answer to Roe v. Wade's fate At stake in the case is a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy as well as the Supreme Court's commitment to Roe v. Wade.In the most closely watched dispute the high court has tackled in years, the justices will consider not only whether to uphold the Mississippi law but whether to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to abortion.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden ’s commission on the Supreme Court on Thursday released its initial findings based on months of public hearings and research, laying out arguments related to expanding the size of the court and other issues. The documents laid out various arguments around On expanding the number of Supreme Court justices, which has become a charged political issue for Democrats and Republicans, the group said they were ultimately divided. The commission laid out a number of factors to be considered, including ways it would impact the judicial system, how

The panel plans to vote on Tuesday on whether to adopt the report as its final official report, which will then be submitted to the White House. Copies are also expected to be sent to Capitol Hill.

The White House has had “no involvement whatsoever” in the work of the commission, sources told NBC News.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that there is no timeframe for when the president will review the report.

"The President will then get the report and will have time to review the report, but I don't have a timeline for how long it will take him to review the report," she told reporters.

"I would remind you all: It's not recommendations that he either accepts or denies. He asked this diverse group of experts across the political spectrum, from across the viewpoint spectrum to look at and assess a range of issues that have long been discussed and debated by Court experts ... and to assess and provide a review of that, not to make, again, 'here are the five recommendations; accept them or deny them.'”

The current Supreme Court's partisan moment rivals Bush v. Gore .
The country is not ready for what's coming next from the Supreme Court. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Activists with The Center for Popular Democracy Action hold photos of U.S. Supreme Court justices as they block an intersection during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. Individual justices themselves say it. The court's message to the country in recent months has smacked of politics.

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