Rep. Max Miller

Rep. Max Miller Watch: Miller opposes packing the court

Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio 7): Website
Phone: (202) 225-3876 Washington, D.C.
Parma District Office: 7335 Ridge Road, Parma, OH 44129
Medina District Office: 72 Public Square, Medina, OH 44256

Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio), is now in support of a constitutional amendment to lock the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices at nine. Miller yesterday became a cosponsor of the “Keep the Nine” constitutional amendment (H.J.Res.8) introduced in January by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota).

The resolution — and three similar resolutions — are assured to fail, since they have no democrat support.

Johnson’s resolution is a response to leftist calls to “pack the court,” by adding justices — presumably appointed by President Joe Biden — to overturn the court’s conservative majority. With the addition of Miller, the resolution has 130 cosponsors. The resolution has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

“Recent years have brought more calls to pack the court or expand the court,” Johnson said. “This is a terrible idea. As defenders of the Constitution, the Supreme Court’s check on the executive and legislative branches is essential to keeping our government free and fair. Turning the Supreme Court into a political football will erode public trust in our institutions and nullify intentions set by our founding fathers.”

Currently, the Constitution doesn’t fix the number of justices on the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Act of 1789, signed into law by President George Washington, set the number at six. From that time until 1869, the number of justices varied from five to 10. The court has been comprised of nine justices since 1869.

Four similar resolutions — two in the House and two in the Senate — have been introduced this year to fix that number in the Constitution.

  • Johnson’s resolution would amend the Constitution by adding, “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.”
  • H.J.Res.1, which was introduced in January by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), says, “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices consisting of one chief justice and eight associate justices.” The resolution also has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee and has a single cosponsor.
  • In the Senate, S.J.Res21, introduced in March by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), contains the same language as Johnson’s bill. Cruz’ resolution has 20 cosponsors and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • S.J.Res16, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) would set the number of justices at “not more than” nine. Rubio’s resolution has 12 cosponsors and also has been referred the judiciary committee.

To take effect, a constitutional amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House, then ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths — or 38 — of the 50 states. To pass the Senate, 67 votes are needed, and democrats hold a 51-49 majority, including three independent senators who caucus with the democrats. To pass the house, 290 votes are needed. Republicans hold a 222-213 majority.

Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt made the most recent serious attempt to pack the court in 1937, when he proposed the addition of six justices after the court ruled several of his New Deal policies unconstitutional. The Senate, despite a 76-16 democrat majority, defeated the measure 70-20.

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