President Joe Biden’s commission on the Supreme Court is delaying submission of its final report by one month to December 15, a source familiar with the commission told CNN.
The commission, which was formed via executive order in April, initially was scheduled to complete its final report by mid-November — 180 days after its first public meeting. But the source says the panel has decided to add another deliberative meeting to its schedule, seeking “a little more time to work through this important substance.”
According to the new timeline, the commission will hold its fifth public meeting on November 19 to discuss revised discussion materials that will be released one day prior. The commission’s draft report will be released December 6 ahead of the commission’s final meeting on December 7, before submitting a final report in mid-December.
The new timeline was first reported by Punchbowl News.
As a presidential candidate, Biden announced his intention to form a commission to review possible reforms to the Supreme Court amid pressure to stake out a position on court expansion. But the panel is not expected to produce concrete recommendations for possible changes to the nation’s highest court, instead focusing on its evaluation of various reform proposals.
Draft materials released by the commission last month seemed to find consensus in favor of term limits but appearing divided over adding more seats to the bench.
The materials considered four areas for the court’s reforms: “Membership and Size of the Court,” “Term Limits,” “The Court’s Role in the Constitutional System,” and “Case Selection and Review: Docket, Rules, and Practices.”
The commission argued in its 30-page “Term Limits” document that “there are principled reasons favoring term limits for Supreme Court Justices, as they simultaneously would preserve the value of judicial independence and ensure that the Court’s membership is broadly responsive to the outcome of democratic elections over time.”
However, it was less determinative on the question of “court packing,” laying out the pros and cons of each argument and going into detail on the history of the size of the court. After detailing how adding members could help restore the balance of the court the report also notes that such expansion could “further degrade the confirmation process.”
“There could be significant battles over any Justice added by a Court expansion measure,” the report stated, and adds that a “future Senate could respond to expansion by refusing to confirm anyone.”
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