Biden Unveils his Supreme Court Reform Panel
The Biden administration has released its plan to study how to reform the Supreme Court. Many conservatives believe its purpose is to give Biden the all-clear to add new Supreme Court justices.
But reading through the announcement, it looks like the commission will spend a lot of time plowing academic ground:
The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals. The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.
As the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro notes, the commission looks to be “beside the point:”
…there are no easy or quick solutions to the politicization of judicial confirmations and the toxic cloud that has descended over many constitutional debates. So I look forward to seeing the commission’s work, but am not confident that any recommendations it produces will manage to be all of nonpartisan, feasible, legal, and actually improve the Supreme Court.
This would put it squarely in league with other blue-ribbon commissions that made learned recommendations to those in power, only to see the final report put on a shelf in a room no one visits, and is promptly forgotten.