Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Sworn In, Holds First Session


President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court commission held its first public meeting Wednesday, two days after the conservative-controlled court agreed to consider rolling back abortion rights.

The 20-minute online session was devoted to formalities. The 33 members who attended took their oaths and several commissioners laid out the scope of their work, which will including analyzing proposals to expand the court, limit its powers and impose term limits on the justices.

“We are to critically evaluate arguments and claims,” said Cristina Rodriguez, a former Democratic Justice Department official who is one of the commission’s co-chairs. “The president has expressly charged us with considering a broad spectrum of ideas.”

Biden didn’t ask the commission to make any recommendations. He has directed the panel to submit a report within 180 days of its first meeting.

Biden named the commission amid liberal calls to add seats to the court after President Donald Trump filled three vacancies during his term in office. Those included one that Republicans held open during Barack Obama’s presidency and another that opened up less than two months before last year’s election.

The court now has a 6-3 conservative majority that could begin transforming American law in the nine-month term that starts in October. The justices have already agreed to consider Mississippi’s bid to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as well as an appeal that seeks a constitutional right to carry a handgun in public. In the coming weeks, the court could add an appeal that aims to abolish race-based college admissions.

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