Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the White House is directly assaulting the nation's independent judiciary.
As a source close to the White House tells the New York Times, the commission "is meant to provide a forum to debate the issue that is protected from the passions that will continue to rage in the political arena". The commission-composed of a bipartisan coalition of experts in constitutional law, history, and political science-will have 180 days to create a comprehensive report concerning hot-button issues such as the possibility of expanding the number of justices on the court and implementing term limits.
"I'm sure he'll take a look at that report that this diverse group of members are putting together, thinking through for the next 180 days, and it will impact his thinking moving forward", Psaki said of Biden. It is unclear if the commission will provide recommendations to Biden, or simply analysis of the arguments for and against reform.
"This White House judicial reform commission has a historic opportunity to both explain the gravity of the threat and to help contain it".
The 36-member commission will be co-chaired by former White House Counsel under President Barack Obama, Bob Bauer, who now serves as the Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law, and Yale Law School Professor Cristina Rodriguez, who previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, also under Obama.
The order itself did not specifically address expanding the high court.
Changes to the court are vehemently opposed by its current members, including Justice Stephen Breyer, the court's most senior liberal, who warned Tuesday that partisan proposals to expand the bench would hurt the institution's credibility. As one of three members remaining in the court's liberal bloc, Breyer may want to step down while a Democrat is in office - much as many thought Ginsburg should have. "But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics". Changing the number of justices would require congressional approval.
But others seemed willing to give it a chance.
Only Congress has the power to add or subtract the number of justices who sit on the Supreme Court, which is determined through legislation. "President Biden's commission demonstrates a strong commitment to studying this situation and taking action". Mike Davis of the conservative Article III Project called the news of the commission's creation "alarming" in a statement, adding that "there is real danger in President Biden giving credibility to the idea of court packing; he is playing with fire and threatening the constitutional foundation of this country".
Ontario to issue 4-week Stay-At-Home order starting Thursday
The province will provide additional resources to support these mobile and pop-up clinics in the hardest-hit neighbourhoods. Last week the province's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table recommended the move due to the surge in variants of the virus.