Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, avoided answering Rep. Jim Jordan‘s, R-OH, question on whether Democrats were planning to expand the Supreme Court during a Wednesday hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
Jordan, while citing an report from The Intercept, said to Nadler, “It’s been reported that the Democrats will be introducing legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 members to 13 members and that you (Nadler) and two of our members on this committee will be sponsoring that legislation, is that accurate?”
Nadler refused to answer Jordan’s question and Jordan was told that it wasn’t an appropriate time to be asking that question.
“That is not the subject of the markup,” Nadler said.
“A report that the chairman is going to be sponsoring legislation is not something to be talked about on the House Judiciary Committee?” Jordan fired back. “If you don’t think it’s important about Democrats trying to expand the size of the Supreme Court… I think that’s a pretty important issue.”
Following the hearing, it was reported that congressional democrats are planning to unveil legislation to expand the court on Thursday.
The bill will be led by Nadler and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, according to NBC News. It will be co-sponsored by Reps. Hank Johnson of Georgia and Mondaire Jones of New York.
“Our democracy is under assault, and the Supreme Court has dealt the sharpest blows. To restore power to the people, we must #ExpandTheCourt. That’s why I’m introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 with @RepJerryNadler, @RepHankJohnson, and @SenMarkey to add four seats to SCOTUS,” Jones tweeted.
GOP leaders slammed the Democrats’ court-packing plans.
“Packing the court goes against everything we believe as Americans. But make no mistake: this is about power and control. Democrats want to dismantle our institutions, including the courts, to enact their socialist agenda,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted.
“Packing the court is an act of arrogant lawlessness. Those behind this effort spit in the face of judicial independence,” Sen. Mike Lee tweeted.
“On court packing: ” … it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question … the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court,” Lee continued.
“Do you know who spoke those words?” Lee asked.
Congress has the power to change the number of Supreme Court justices, although it has remained at nine since 1869.
Democrats are expected to announce the bill outside the Supreme Court building on Thursday.
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