Radical Groups Renewing Effort to “Reform” the U.S. Supreme Court

Written by Jorge Gomez

Are court packing and radical “court reform” making a comeback? A coalition of 30+ activist organizations relaunched an effort calling for “structural changes” to the U.S. Supreme Court.

They kicked off their “Just Majority” campaign this week in Boston alongside Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley. This is the first stop in a nationwide bus tour scheduled to end in late June in Washington. The three members of Congress spoke in favor of a proposal known as the Judiciary Act, which would expand the number of justices on the Court. Watch below:

According to The New York Times:

“The effort will include progressive leaders and organizations that have not previously been engaged in the push to overhaul the court, including by imposing term limits on justices or increasing their numbers. But leaders of the organizations say they now see the need to spur a larger public discussion about the role of the court in American life.”

Among the newly involved groups is NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the country’s most radical pro-abortion organizations. Their president said: “We feel a special obligation to jump in now. It feels the time is right to start having this conversation about expansion. Everything has to be on the table.”

These words mirror those of political leaders who pushed for expanding or “reforming” the nation’s highest court over the last couple of years. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at one point said “everything is on the table” when it comes to U.S. Supreme Court changes. She co-sponsored the Judiciary Act, which would pack the U.S. Supreme Court and increase its size to 13 members.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas recently introduced a constitutional amendment to cement the size of the U.S. Supreme Court at nine members. If passed by Congress, his amendment would head to the states for ratification. Cruz recently commented:

“The Democrats’ answer to a Supreme Court that is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution is to pack it with liberals who will rule the way they want. The Supreme Court should be independent, not inflated by every new administration. That’s why I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment to permanently keep the number of justices at nine.”

He introduced a similar proposal in 2021. At the time, prominent members of the party in power and liberal advocates were intensely pushing for court-packing and other suspect court “reforms,” including term limits for federal judges. President Biden even created a Commission on the U.S. Supreme Court to explore potential “reforms.”

When calls for judicial “reform” were at their loudest, First Liberty was on the frontlines fighting to protect the priceless heritage of the U.S. Supreme Court. We launched Supreme Coup, a national campaign to educate Americans about court-packing.

Our legal experts conducted expert research, shared it with millions across the country and exposed court-packing for what it is: a brazen power grab. We explained that this radical scheme would destroy the separation of powers by making the judicial branch another arm of the party in power. It would end the legitimacy and independence of the U.S. Supreme Court, erode all public confidence in future court rulings and—worst of all—eradicate our cherished rights and freedoms, including religious liberty.

Additionally, we funded national polling, constructed an educational microsite and proactively built a national coalition of leaders and allies. Because of this, we garnered the support of more than 500,000 Americans to the cause.

We made a significant investment in time, effort and resources—and it paid off tremendously.

President Biden’s Commission to reform our courts—which was overwhelmingly comprised of liberal commissioners—ended up stymied on the court-packing issue. After months of deliberation, the Commission could not in good conscience recommend court-packing.

In its reports, the Commission cited First Liberty’s research and arguments. It specifically referred to our polling and our warnings of how court-packing destroyed freedom in other countries. This was evidence that our efforts had a significant impact. After two years of hard work, we successfully stopped court-packing, which was a huge win to ensure our freedoms wouldn’t be ripped away.

The U.S. House and the Senate are now controlled by different parties. Divided government means the court-packing threat is effectively over for this term. But we must be vigilant. Many proponents of court-packing remain in power. Like the “Just Majority” campaign, they could reenergize their attempts to rig the Court for political gain.

Sen. Cruz’s amendment is a commendable and important step to ensure court-packing does not happen. As U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) pointed out, “the progressive left will do anything to gain power, including packing and expanding the U.S. Supreme Court with judges that share their radical ideology. This bill will help permanently protect the Court’s integrity from partisan threats.”

America’s system of justice should be revered and respected. Fighting for religious liberty and our constitutional rights means nothing if we allow our highest court to be packed and hijacked by liberal power-hungry zealots. If radical court “reform” comes back, First Liberty will be ready.

FLI Insider | Stop the Coup

This article was originally published by FirstLiberty.org.