Members of the GOP in the House and Senate on Friday harshly criticized President Joe Biden for creating a commission tasked with exploring reforms to the Supreme Court.
"The president spent most of his campaign playing coy on the issue, but has now admitted from the safety of a four-year term that he views the judiciary as 'out of whack,'" McConnell said. "This faux-academic study of a non-existent problem fits squarely within liberals' years-long campaign to politicize the court, intimidate its members and subvert its independence."
Republicans characterized the move as a preamble to the Democrats' effort to add seats to the Supreme Court and erase the conservative majority established on the bench with three appointments by former President Donald Trump. The practice is often referred to as "court-packing."
The size of the Supreme Court bench has varied over the years. The size of the bench grew to 10 members, the highest in U.S. history, in 1863. The number returned to nine justices in 1869 and has remained so since.
During the vice-presidential debate last year, then-Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly pressed Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on whether the Biden administration would pack the court. Harris never answered the question.
Biden created the SCOTUS commission amid an ongoing discussion among Senate Democrats about ending the legislative filibuster, a distinguishing feature of the U.S. Senate that promotes bipartisanship. Both sides have weakened the filibuster by doing away with the practice for presidential nominees.
The filibuster discussion has faded to the background in recent days after the Senate parliamentarian affirmed that Democrats can pass more than one reconciliation measure this year. Reconciliation is a process for bypassing the filibuster. The reconciliation procedure has never been used to pass more than one bill in a budget year.