President Biden created a bipartisan commission Friday to study structural changes to the Supreme Court, giving the group 180 days to produce a report on a range of thorny topics including court expansion and term limits.
The commission, composed of 36 legal scholars, former federal judges and practicing lawyers, fulfills Biden’s campaign promise to establish such a group after activists pushed him to back expanding the court following Republicans’ rush to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett shortly before last year’s election. Biden has said he is “not a fan” of adding seats to the Supreme Court, but he has declined to say whether he supports any other changes to its structure.
The commission, however, is likely to disappoint liberals who are looking for quick action to blunt the court’s conservative majority, while giving the president cover to avoid wading into the contentious debate. The members are not tasked with giving Biden specific recommendations but rather providing an analysis of a range of proposed changes to the court. The executive order establishing the commission mandates that the group hold public meetings and take input from a range of stakeholders, with the report expected in October.