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Joe Biden on Friday opened the door to a possible reform of the Supreme Court, drawing the ire of Republicans who accuse him of wanting to attack this powerful institution, responsible in the United States for deciding the biggest questions of society.
The Democratic President Joe biden took a first step on Friday April 9 which could lead to a possible reform of the Supreme Court of the United States, drawing the wrath of Republicans who accuse him of wanting to attack this powerful institution, with a conservative majority and which is responsible for settling the country’s biggest societal issues.
The American president signed an executive order setting up a commission of experts on a reform of the temple of American law, firmly anchored on the conservative side since the appointments of Donald Trump.
Composed of Democratic and Republican experts, the commission will examine the most sensitive aspects of a possible reform of the Supreme Court: the term of office of its members, their number, the way in which the institution selects the cases on which it rules, its rules and its practices. She will have six months to make her recommendations.
Attempt to “radicalize the Supreme Court” and “direct attack” on justice: its creation has aroused strong criticism among Republicans.
The Supreme Court, which in the United States decides on many social issues such as access to abortion or the rights of sexual minorities, has nine magistrates appointed for life. They are appointed by the President of the United States and must be confirmed by the Senate.
It currently has six conservative judges, three of whom were appointed by former Republican President Donald Trump.
The commission set up by Joe Biden will be co-chaired by Bob Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez, two eminent law professors. Bob Bauer had advised Joe Biden during his campaign.
“Influence of the far left”
During the presidential campaign, candidates for the Democratic primary raised the possibility of increasing the number of judges sitting on the court. A hypothesis that bristles the Republicans.
Candidate Biden had told him he was not in favor of the idea. And had even considered this idea “stupid” in the early 1980s.
Asked about this, White House spokeswoman Jen Paski replied on Friday that he had “asked his team to form this committee to reflect the diversity of points of view.” “This will of course have an impact on his opinion,” she added at a press conference.
For the leader of the Republican senators Mitch McConnell, the announcement of the creation of this commission, a “falsely academic study of a non-existent problem”, represents “a direct attack on the independent judicial system of our country”.
In a vitriolic statement, he said Friday to see it “a new sign of the influence of the far left on the Biden administration”.
With three appointments each controversial for distinct reasons, calls from the progressive camp to reform the venerable institution have grown fiercer under Donald Trump.
With, as a blow to the Democrats, the replacement of the progressive and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died less than two months before the 2020 presidential election, by Conservative magistrate Amy Coney Barrett, 49 years.
Considering the age of the new Conservative recruits, his arrival anchored the Court on the Right for decades.
Before her, Donald Trump had appointed conservative Brett Kavanaugh, 56, to replace Anthony Kennedy, conservative on certain issues but defender of more progressive positions on other points, such as gay rights.
The hearings in 2018 of the magistrate, accused of sexual assault before his confirmation by the Senate, had deeply divided the country.
As soon as he arrived at the White House, Donald Trump appointed a third judge: Neil Gorsuch, 53, who replaced the conservative Antonin Scalia, who died almost a year earlier.
Fearful of see the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg To repeat itself if Joe Biden is replaced by a Republican after the 2024 presidential election, a group pushing for Supreme Court reform is pushing the oldest progressive judge, Stephen Breyer, 82, to resign now.
“Breyer, resign. It’s time for a black woman to sit on the Supreme Court,” read a truck driving through Washington on Friday.
Tuesday April 6, “Justice Breyer” had warned against the idea of increasing the number of judges sitting on the Supreme Court, saying that reforms perceived as political could weaken the confidence of Americans in this institution.