The Ninth Rule of Court Packing Is Appoint A "Court Reform" Commission One Week After The Inauguration

It's been nearly three months months since my last Court Packing post.

|

Recently, I wondered when Biden would begin to staff his "court reform" commission. Today, Politico reports that the process has begun.

The Biden administration is moving forward with the creation of a bipartisan commission to study reforms to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.

The commission will be housed under the purview of the White House Counsel's office and filled out with the behind-the-scenes help of the Biden campaign's lawyer Bob Bauer, who will co-chair the commission. Its specific mandate is still being decided. But, in a signal that the commission is indeed moving ahead, some members have alreadybeen selected, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.

Among those who will be on the commission are Cristina Rodríguez, a professor at Yale Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama Department of Justice, who will join Bauer as co-chair. Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society, and Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and a former assistant attorney general in the Bush Department of Justice, will also serve on the commission, those familiar with discussions said. 

"The President remains committed to an expert study of the role and debate over reform of the court and will have more to say in the coming weeks," a White House official said in a statement.

The recruitment of members is still ongoing, but a source familiar with the discussion expects between nine and 15 members total to be appointed to the commission. Rodríguez and Goldsmith did not respond to a request for comment, and Fredrickson declined to comment.

I am grateful Jack Goldsmith is on that commission. His name is the only right-of-center person identified by Politico. Goldsmith has worked closely with Bauer in recent years. My hope is that there is some balance. In any event, given the current tilt of Congress, any substantial change is unlikely during the next two years or so.

For those with a sense of nostalgia, you can see my prior Court-Packing posts here: Rules # 1234567, 8.