In just the first week of Joe Biden’s presidency, we saw him flag down a number of the most sordid policies of the Trump administration just by signing a number of carefully written executive orders and bringing much needed relief to some of America’s most vulnerable citizens. There are the aspects of Trump’s legacy that are much harder to undo, however – not just the narrow legislation that Republicans managed to pass in his tenure, but also the staggering number of right-wing justices, who managed to get lifelong appointments despite being denounced by the American Bar Association.
Fortunately, President Biden has a plan for that – one that he pitched during his campaign. On Friday, he announced the launch of a commission that will study the judiciary, led by the former counsel from the Obama White House, Bob Bauer and former Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, Cristina Rodriguez.
In six months, the commission will make recommendations on how to further improve the courts, with a bipartisan panel of officials from both previous Democratic and Republican administrations. A number of progressive organizations hope that the commission will endorse the idea of President Biden expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court after six years of Mitch McConnell recklessly trying to confirm as many conservative justices as possible under a Republican administration.
Although the commission has yet to make any recommendations, it’s clear there’s bipartisan consensus that something needs to be done – and a number of federal judges are currently retiring now with the knowledge that President Biden will be responsible for determining their replacements. Whatever decision the commission makes, it’s never been more obvious why voting Democratic matters if we’re to keep reforming the system for the better.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making