White House tempers expectations on court ‘packing’ bill


President Biden is not ready to throw his weight behind a new legislative push to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court, dashing the hopes of far-left Democrats — at least for now.

Mr. Biden, however, has replaced his outright opposition to the idea — which he once derided as “boneheaded” — with a willingness to listen to potential changes to the court.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr. Biden established a commission to study reshaping the Supreme Court and is waiting to see those recommendations before taking any other action on the controversial subject.

“He believes that members of Congress have the right to put forward legislation on issues they support,” Ms. Psaki said at the daily briefing Thursday. “His view is that he wants to hear from his commission that has a range of viewpoints.”

Her comments came shortly after a group of Democrats introduced legislation, known as the Judiciary Act of 2021 near the steps of the Supreme Court that would increase the number of justices on the bench from 9 members to 13 members.

Sen. Ed Markey said the Supreme Court, which now has a 6-3 conservative majority, is “broken” and “out of balance.” 

The Massachusetts Democrat called on the Biden administration to abolish the 60-vote legislative filibuster in the Senate to pass the bill.

“The president believes in freedom of speech and members can come forward and share their points of views on a range of issues, including the future of the courts,” Ms. Paski said. “He has his own view and he looks forward to seeing the recommendations that come out of this court commission.”

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