House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during a press conference that she will not bring a bill to expand the Supreme Court to the floor, saying that while the bill is “not out of the question,” the Democratic Party’s focus should for the time being remain on passing President Joe Biden‘s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan.
“No. I support the president’s commission to study such a proposal, but frankly I’m not — right now, we’re back, our members, our committees are working. We’re putting together the infrastructure bill and the rest,” Pelosi said, adding: “I don’t know if that’s a good idea or a bad idea. I think it’s an idea that should be considered and I think the president’s taking the right approach to have a commission to study such a thing. It’s a big step.”
Of expanding the court, Pelosi said, “It’s not out of the question. It has be done before in the history of our country a long time ago. And the growth of our country, the size of our country, the growth of our challenges in terms of the economy, etc., might necessitate such a thing.”
You can listen to Pelosi’s remarks below.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 15, 2021
Pelosi’s comments came after Democrats, led by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill to expand the number of Supreme Court justices from nine to 13.
Last week, President Biden ordered a 180-day commission that will explore the mechanics behind expanding the Supreme Court. The commission will provide a forum to debate the matter outside of Congress, whose own proceedings are likely to be significantly polarized.
Although Biden has not clarified his own views on expanding the court, the decision to engage the commission via executive order fulfills a campaign promise he made amid growing concerns from activists that the court is imbalanced.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.