Democratic Senators Offer Bill To Radically Change Composition Of Supreme Court
A bill that could entirely change the composition of the Supreme Court was introduced by a group of Democratic senators.
The bill places a focused lens on court ethics and its conservative supermajority.
The bill would appoint a new Supreme Court justice every two years. The justice would be able to attend hearings for every case for 18 years but would have to step back after that and only hear a “small number of constitutionally required cases.”
“The Supreme Court is facing a crisis of legitimacy that is exacerbated by radical decisions at odds with established legal precedent, ethical lapses of sitting justice and politicization of the confirmation process,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) said at a press conference. “This crisis has eroded faith and confidence in our nation’s highest court. Fundamental reform is necessary to address this crisis and restore trust in the institution.”
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The bill was introduced by Sens. Booker, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Alex Padilla (D-California).
It was co-sponsored by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Peter Welch (D- Vermont) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
A push for the reform of the Supreme Court gained traction this year after it was disclosed that Justice Clarence Thomas was given thousands of dollars of gifts from conservative political donors.
A bill was advanced earlier this year by the Senate Judiciary Committee to require the Supreme Court to follow a code of ethics.
“An organized scheme by right-wing special interests to capture and control the Supreme Court, aided by gobs of billionaire dark money flowing through the confirmation process and judicial lobbying, has resulted in an unaccountable Court out of step with the American people,” Whitehouse said.
Some Republicans in Congress argue that Congress has no jurisdiction to pass the bill about the court without a constitutional amendment.
“I know this is a controversial view, but I’m willing to say it,” Alito told The Wall Street Journal. “No provision in the Constitution gives them the authority to regulate the Supreme Court – period.”
Americans’ trust in the Supreme Court has severely plummeted in recent years.
According to a Gallup poll, 41% of Americans approve of how the Supreme Court is doing its job and 58% disapprove.
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