Senate Democrats Move to Check Supreme Court’s Decisions
Two Senators introduced a bill meant to give Congress more power to pass legislation directly in response to Supreme Court rulings that interpret federal statues or constitutional rights.
According to Law360:
The Supreme Court Review Act, introduced by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., would help guarantee that the power to make policy remains with Congress, not the court, by creating streamlined procedures for Congress to exercise its existing power to amend statutes or create federal statutory rights.
“Six radical justices enacted a bonanza of right-wing policies during the last term, reshaping American life in wildly unpopular ways over just a matter of days. The American people are fed up with policymaking by unaccountable Supreme Court justices, and we have a solution,” Whitehouse, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary courts subcommittee, said in a statement.
“This important good-government reform would check the activist court’s rogue decisions by ensuring policymaking stays where the Constitution delegated it: in the hands of the American people and their elected representatives.”
Cortez Masto said in a statement that the bill would allow Congress to better respond when the court “misinterprets congressional intent or strips Americans of fundamental rights.”
The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
The bill would apply the same framework to Supreme Court decisions that Congress has for responding to “major” agency rules under the Congressional Review Act.
Specifically, the bill includes expedited procedures for the Senate to pass laws by a simple majority, prevents abuse of the process by excluding any “extraneous” changes to federal law — similar to the “Byrd Rule” during the reconciliation process — and ensures members of the minority party in the Senate have an opportunity to propose alternative updates to the law.