(Washington) On Friday, Joe Biden opened the door to a possible reform of the Supreme Court, a powerful institution working to settle the biggest issues of society in the United States, but its work is the subject of regular criticism.
True to his election promise, the US president signed an executive order to form a committee of experts to reform the Temple of American Law, which has been firmly focused on the conservative side since Donald Trump’s appointments.
Its creation immediately aroused heavy criticism among Republicans.
Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote on Twitter that “President Biden wants to radicalize the Supreme Court.”
“This initiative is part of the administration’s commitment to study very carefully measures to improve federal justice,” the White House said.
The committee will be made up of Democratic and Republican experts and will study the most sensitive aspects of a potential Supreme Court reform: the terms of office of its members, their number, the way the institution chooses the cases it rules over, its rules and its practices.
She will have six months to present her recommendations.
The Supreme Court, which decides many social issues in the United States such as access to abortion or the rights of sexual minorities, has nine judges appointed for life. They are appointed by the President of the United States and must be approved by the Senate.
The court currently has six conservative judges, three of whom were appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump.
During the presidential campaign, Democratic primary candidates – including incumbent Transportation Minister Pete Buttigieg – raised the possibility of increasing the number of judges on the court, an assumption that angered Republicans.
The committee set up by Joe Biden will be chaired by Bob Bauer and Christina Rodriguez, both distinguished law professors. Bob Bauer had advised Joe Biden during his campaign.
With three controversial appointments each for distinct reasons, calls from the progressive camp to reform the esteemed institution have become more vicious under Donald Trump.
As a blow to the Democrats, progressive and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died less than two months before the 2020 presidential election, was replaced by conservative judge Amy Connie Barrett, 49.
Given the age of the new Conservative recruits, his arrival has cemented the court on the right for decades.
Before that, the Republican billionaire had appointed conservative Brett Kavanaugh, 56, to replace Anthony Kennedy, a conservative on certain issues but an advocate of more progressive positions on other points, such as gay rights.
The 2018 hearings of the judge, who was accused of sexual assault before being confirmed by the Senate, led to a deep split in the country.
Once at the White House, Donald Trump appointed a third judge: Neil Gorsuch, 53, who replaced the conservative Antonin Scalia, who had died nearly a year earlier.
The nomination also angered Democrats, and their anger that the Republican leader in the Senate at the time, Mitch McConnell, had refused to grant hearings to the candidate previously nominated Barack Obama, the president at the time of Mr. Scalia’s death. This frustrated candidate, Merrick Garland, is now the attorney general.
Fearing that the same Ruth Bader Ginsburg story will be repeated if Joe Biden is replaced by a Republican after the 2024 presidential election, a group advocating for Supreme Court reform has pushed the most progressive judge, Stephen Breyer, 82, to resign now.
“Briar, quit. It is time for a black woman to sit in the Supreme Court,” read a truck driving around the courthouse in Washington on Friday.
On Tuesday, Judge Breyer warned against the idea of increasing the number of judges on the Supreme Court, saying reforms perceived as political could weaken Americans’ confidence in the institution.