U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, joined a handful of congressional Republicans on Monday in pushing for a constitutional amendment to prevent court packing of the U.S. Supreme Court by Democrats.
The push from GOP lawmakers to limit the Supreme Court to nine justices comes months after former President Donald Trump appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Ahead of Barrett’s confirmation, some Democrats discussed the possibility of expanding the court, as the New York Post reported in October 2020.
The constitutional amendment, which was originally introduced in 2019 by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, states that “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of not more than 9 justices” and that “The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
“Last Congress we proposed this amendment which would maintain the number of seats on the Supreme Court at nine,” Romney, who is co-sponsoring the constitutional amendment, said in a written statement on Monday. “It remains imperative that we continue to resist efforts to pack the Supreme Court and treat it as if it is one of the elected branches of government.”
The Utah Republican continued, “Our society is only as strong as its institutions, and I hope my colleagues will join us in our effort to ensure the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court.”
Rubio said in a statement that packing the Supreme Court “is a radical, left-wing idea that would further undermine America’s confidence in our institutions and our democracy.”
“As a candidate, President Joe Biden promised to unify America, and even said he was ‘not a fan’ of packing the Supreme Court, a radical proposal he once referred to as a ‘bonehead idea’ when he served in the Senate,” said Rubio. “If he is sincere about healing our country and protecting our institutions, he will support this effort to protect the Supreme Court.”
Biden said in October that, if he were elected, he would convene a national commission to study the court system, according to NPR.
Other co-sponsors of the constitutional amendment to prevent court packing of the Supreme Court include Sens. Keven Cramer, R-ND; Marsha Blackburn R-TN; Todd Young, R-IN; Mike Crapo, R-ID; Pat Toomey, R-PA; Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV; Thom Tillis, R-NC; Rob Portman, R-OH; and John Cornyn, R-TX.