FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court following an abortion ruling by the Texas legislature
FILE PHOTO: Storm clouds roll in over the U.S. Supreme Court, following an abortion ruling by the Texas legislature, in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

October 14, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden’s commission studying potential changes to the U.S. Supreme Court warned that expanding the number of justices would be seen as a “partisan maneuver,” in nonbinding documents detailing its discussions made public on Thursday.

Members of the commission discussed whether to expand the number of justices or impose term limits, according to preliminary draft materials released on Thursday.

The documents are to be used as a source of debate by members of the commission who will prepare a report for Biden and turn it over to him by mid-November.

With some Democrats wanting to expand the court to counter the 6-3 conservative majority, the commission warned that “rather than calm the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court, expansion could further degrade the confirmation process.”

“There could be significant battles over any Justice added by a Court expansion measure. Indeed, a future Senate could respond to expansion by refusing to confirm any nominee,” it said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, Additional reporting by Mohammed Zargham; Editing by Will Dunham, Heather Timmons and Peter Cooney)

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