Keep Supreme Court membership at nine
Democracy in America relies on checks and balances. It is critical the Supreme Court, an essential institution that checks the power of Congress, and the executive branch, remain judicially independent. Preserving the independence of the U.S. Supreme Court is not only an essential check on our American democratic system, but it is also essential to preserving American democracy as a whole.
For the last 150 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has been composed of nine justices. However, if one political party in America’s two-party system has the White House, and majorities in the House and Senate, politicians could add more than nine justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, throwing the court’s balance into chaos.
The ability to make these changes on a political whim is a frightening notion and puts a fair and impartial judiciary in an uncertain and fragile position. For 150 years, nine justices have honorably and faithfully served the American people. Making the kind of radical changes we see proposed in Washington would be a detriment to our great nation.
The proposed Keep Nine Amendment simply states, “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.” This simple language is all it takes to put an end to the dangerous threat of “court packing,” as the practice of adding justices it is commonly referred to.
While the ultimate decision remains in the hands of Congress, we are fighting this power grab right here in Ohio. That is why I, alongside state Sen. Frank Hoagland, introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 (S.C.R. 2), urging Congress to adopt the Keep Nine Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, securing the number of United States Supreme Court justices at nine.
Despite assurances from President Biden that this would not be an issue he supports, he has now established a new commission to explore that exact topic. It has become increasingly clear that a constitutional amendment is necessary to protect the integrity of our highest court. Our independent judiciary should not be subjected to the political whims and power grabs of the executive or legislative branches, and we strongly urge Congress to take this necessary action.
Specifically, I urge members of the Ohio congressional delegation and their colleagues across the nation to think hard before upending one of our most noble institutions.
It is an honor to represent the people of the Mahoning Valley as your state senator. As always, if you have input on this or other legislative issues, please do not hesitate to contact my office at Rulli@OhioSenate.gov.
Ohio senator, Salem