Lawmakers Offer Constitutional Amendment on High Court

Intent is to counter proposals to “pack” the Supreme Court.

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona, Roger Wicker of Massachusetts, Kathy Loeffler of Georgia, and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi have introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prevent packing the Supreme Court.

The proposed amendment simply states, “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be comprised of nine justices.”

To pass requires a two-thirds supermajority in both the Senate and the House and the ratification by three-fourths of the states (38 of 50), within seven years after its submission for ratification.

Packing the court by adding a number of additional justices has been a proposal floated by many in the House and Senate following the nomination by President Trump of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a seat on the Supreme Court.

In a statement, Senator Wicker said, “Proposals to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court and add seats to change its ideological balance should concern every American. There have been nine seats on the Supreme Court for more than 150 years, providing stability and trust in the rule of law.”

Senator Cruz said that packing the court would destroy “the foundations of our democratic system.” He added, “We must take action before election day to safeguard the Supreme Court and the constitutional liberties that hang in the balance.”

The senators have also introduced a bill that would create a point of order against legislation modifying the number of justices on the Supreme Court. It states that “it shall not be in order to consider a provision in a bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment” to modify the number of justices. If passed, the presiding chair of the Senate would then decide if any bill or resolution violates the point of order against packing the court. A majority of senators could vote to overrule the chair’s decision.

Last month, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said, “Let me be clear: If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this [nomination of Judge Barrett], then nothing is off the table for next year.”

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose seat Judge Barrett, if confirmed, would fill, speaking against court-packing in 2019, said, “If anything would make the court look partisan, it would be that.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For members of the Senate as they undertake to debate and discuss the proposed Constitutional amendment on court-packing.
  • About the general issue of court-packing and where that could lead as politicians from either party gain or lose control of Congress across the years.

Sources: The Hill, Forbes, Fox News


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