WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) — Senator Ted Cruz and five other Senate Republicans introduced a constitutional amendment to prevent Democrats from expanding the Supreme Court if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats take the majority in the Senate.
The constitutional amendment simply says “the Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.”
“There is nothing in the Constitution that says how many justices are on the Supreme Court. That number is up to Congress,” R Street Institute fellow Anthony Marcum said.
Sen. Cruz also introduced a bill requiring a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate to change the court’s size in the future. For an amendment to become law, it would need two-thirds approval in both the House and the Senate as well as support from 38 states.
Marcum says the requirement is a very high bar.
“That is just simply not going to happen, especially on an issue as politically contentious on the Supreme Court. These are messaging bills,” Marcum said.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has dodged questions on whether he supports adding justices to the Supreme Court.
“Joe, the American people deserve a straight answer,” Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday.
Pence said Biden’s silence is evidence he plans to pack the court with liberal justices.
“They do have a right to know where I stand, and they will know before they vote,” Biden said.
Biden says his position will depend on how Republicans handle the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Cruz says that uncertainty is why the Senate needs to take action now.