A group of Democrat lawmakers unveiled new legislation on Thursday that would expand the number of Supreme Court justices from nine to 13. The bill is backed by several prominent lawmakers, but it is unclear if the new measure can garner support from moderates.

The bill is backed by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-New York), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York), who is head of the the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill comes after the White House announced a commission to study expanding the court last week. “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,” read a White House press release from Thursday. “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.”


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Jones said the bill would “restore balance to the Supreme Court as part of critically necessary democracy reform,” in a statement Thursday. “Americans will rightly be skeptical of a commission composed almost entirely of people protected from the real-life consequences of the Supreme Court’s right-wing extremism,” Jones continued. “Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that the commission will join our rising movement for Court expansion.”

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