The Republican National Committee (RNC) has come out in support of the proposed “Keep Nine Amendment” that, if enacted, would prevent packing the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Resolutions Committee adopted the resolution of support, the RNC said in a statement Friday.
U.S. Reps. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-07) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA-05) introduced the proposed amendment in October, The Virginia Star reported. Their stated purpose was to permanently set the court’s makeup at nine to make sure that neither political party can ever pack the Supreme Court.
Their legislation is House Joint Resolution 95, and tracking information is available here. The proposed amendment states: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine Justices.”
In September, former Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers, one of the organizers of the Keep Nine Amendment, appeared on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Summers discussed the amendment to prevent people from adding more judges to the Supreme Court. He also went into more depth about this amendment by explaining the definition of court-packing and why it’s detrimental to the country.
Summers said that one reason court-packing would be bad is because, “It weakens the rule of law. It also dampens the checks and balances on abuse of power by our most important third branch of government known as the judiciary.”
The transcript and an audio link of Summers’ interview are available here.
Following is the full text of the Republican National Committee’s resolution supporting the proposed amendment:
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE “KEEP NINE AMENDMENT” TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
WHEREAS, The United States Constitution provides no specific instruction for the number of justices that constitute the Supreme Court of the United States;
WHEREAS, For over 150 years, the Supreme Court has consisted of nine justices;
WHEREAS, During the nation’s history, Congress has changed the number of justices, both increasing and decreasing, seven times prior to 1869 for the purpose of gaining political advantage for a then-current political position;
WHEREAS, The practice of “packing the Court” for political advantage greatly decreases confidence that the Supreme Court exists as an essential element of America’s system of checks and balances, which guarantees and protects a citizen’s constitutional rights;
WHEREAS, In order to prevent all attempts by the legislative and/or executive branches of government to change the number of Supreme Court justices, the “Keep Nine Amendment” to the United States Constitution has been proposed, which simply states: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine Justices”;
WHEREAS, The “Keep Nine Amendment” was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 76 in the United States Senate on October 19, 2020, by Senator Ted Cruz (TX) and is now sponsored and/or supported by numerous United States Senators and Senators-elect, including Senators John Boozman (AR), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Tom Cotton (AR), Steve Daines (MT), Joni Ernst (IA), Chuck Grassley (IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Mike Lee (UT), Kelly Loeffler (GA), Cynthia Lummis (WY), David Perdue (GA), Rob Portman (OH), Thom Tillis (NC), Tommy Tuberville (AL), and Roger Wicker (MS);
WHEREAS, The “Keep Nine Amendment” was introduced as House Joint Resolution 95 in the House of Representatives on September 24, 2020, with bipartisan sponsorship by then-Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Denver Riggleman (R-VA), with co-sponsors Mo Brooks (R-AL5), Michael San Nicolas (D-GU-At Large), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA1), and Ken Buck (R-CO4);
WHEREAS, A number of former state attorneys general oppose “packing the court,” and recent polls have shown that voters support a “Keep Nine Amendment” by more than a three to one margin;
WHEREAS, Democrats have refused to remove packing of the Supreme Court from consideration; and
WHEREAS, If Democrats are ever successful in gaining control of all three branches of government, the introduction of the “Keep Nine Amendment”, and its popularity among Americans, should serve as a check to this self-serving chicanery; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) goes on the record in support of the pending “Keep Nine Amendment” as filed in the United States Senate and House of Representatives with wide Republican support; and
RESOLVED, That copies of this RNC resolution be sent to all Republican members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, governors, state constitutional officers, state attorneys general, and state legislatures.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.