In a tweet on Friday, The New York Times portrayed President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is creating a bipartisan commission to study U.S. Supreme Court reform including the size of the court and the justices’ lifetime appointments. Bipartisan meaning that there will be a few token conservatives with most of the slots occupied by liberals.
“Breaking News: President Biden will create a panel to study expanding the Supreme Court in an effort to balance the conservative majority created by Donald Trump.”
Breaking News: President Biden will create a panel to study expanding the Supreme Court in an effort to balance the conservative majority created by Donald Trump. https://t.co/uXBSCZpdu6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 9, 2021
The question of expanding the Supreme Court came up during the campaign and Biden said then that he was against expanding the court, but used an executive order to study the matter anyway.
In 1983 Biden stated:
“President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the Court. It was totally within his right to do that—he violated no law, he was legalistically absolutely correct. But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”
And last week in a speech at Harvard Law liberal School Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer had this to say about expanding the court:
“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority … which was hard-won. But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust. A trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that latter perception, further eroding that trust.”
But even though Biden and Breyer — along with late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — are against expanding the court for political purposes, the president has created an unwieldy commission to study the matter to ease the pressure from the radical left-wing members of the Democratic Party.
For the Times, it appears to be hoping for changes to offset the gains conservatives made on the court during the Trump administration and are perfectly fine with turning the court into a political weapon that the party in power can use to their advantage and once again demonstrating that they have crossed the boundary from journalism to advocacy to the detriment of its readers.