White House Commission divided on SCOTUS reform ideas | KTAB


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – A White House committee tasked with reviewing U.S. Supreme Court reforms appears just as divided as the rest of the country.

A draft Thursday report by the bipartisan committee, made up of legal experts, suggested an opening to imposing term limits on judges, but also warned that increasing the number of judges could make the institution more political – a conclusion that frustrated some members.

“I think this does a disservice and silences the arguments that might be raised by those who operate in this space for reflection on democracy,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, member of the Legal Defense Fund’s committee.

Several Democratic senators on Friday called the project disappointing.

Paul Schiff Berman, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, says Republicans have already distorted public opinion on the court.

“The constitutional crisis is here,” he said. “(The Republicans) effectively filled the court with at least two judges who really shouldn’t have been on the pitch (because they were) nominated by presidents who didn’t win the popular vote.”

But Zach Smith of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative political think tank, said it was time for Democrats to abandon their efforts to change the court.

“The attempts that we are seeing now, especially by many on the left, to make the branch a political branch are really unhappy with some of the court rulings,” he said. “This is an effort to put pressure on judges or, more grimly, to undermine the legitimacy of the courts.”

The commission will submit a final report to the president in November.

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