A group of Wisconsin state lawmakers have launched an effort to protect the integrity and current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court as a commission on expanding the number of justices established by President Joe Biden is set to meet.
“Newly elected Wisconsin state Sens. Julian Bradley and Eric Wimberger and Rep. Tony Kurtz said they started to circulate a resolution to block expanding the court beyond nine judges,” Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
Called the “Wisconsin Keep 9 Resolution,” the plan calls for a convention of states to meet for the purpose of ensuring that the high court’s nine justices be enshrined via constitutional amendment.
Article V, Sect. 2 of the Constitution calls for amending the nation’s founding document in two ways: Congress passing amendment resolutions and sending them to states, where three-quarters (37) must ratify in order for it to take effect; and three-quarters of states calling on Congress to hold a convention for the purposes of amending the Constitution.
“Legislators in other states have urged their members of Congress to amend the constitution. However, as a legislature we do have the power to call for a constitutional convention directly, and that is what this joint resolution does,” says a memo sent to Bedard.
“Wisconsin cannot stay silent while President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer discuss packing the Supreme Court because they don’t like the justices,” Bradley told the outlet in a statement.
“We must exercise our power and call for a constitutional convention to say the Supreme Court will have nine justices — period,” he added.
The Constitution has never been amended via a convention of states outside of the first Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Some liberals who were previously opposed to expanding the Supreme Court have since changed their minds after President Joe Biden and Democrats took over Congress and the White House.
I had always believed that expanding the Court would damage the institution and further politicize the judiciary,” liberal Nan Aron, the founder and president of the left-wing Alliance for Justice, said in written testimony.
But with Republicans poised for control, “I have come to the conclusion that reform is the only option, and I have come to this conclusion because the risks that I have feared and contemplated for so long are simply outweighed by the reality of our current crisis,” she said.
The Wisconsin Resolution, however, warned that it is dangerous to continue to allow Congress to decide the number of justices due to over-politicization.
“There is no compelling reason to change the number of justices on the Supreme Court and a change of that magnitude should require broad consensus,” it said.
“Currently, the number of justices is set in federal law, meaning it can be changed by an act of Congress. We believe a change this important to our federal courts should only be considered if there is broad bipartisan support,” the resolution added.
“By amending the federal Constitution to set the size of the Supreme Court at nine Justices, we can protect our country and judicial branch against opportunistic political actors,” it continued.