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Graham, Grassley and Jordan Press for Details on Radical Efforts to Pack Supreme Court, Undermine Judicial Independence

Seeking information from now-disbanded Supreme Court Commission

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) today sent letters to former co-Chairs of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States seeking information on the Commission’s work, deliberations and true purpose.

The letters to Robert Bauer and Cristina Rodriguez reiterate preservation and document production requests from the now-disbanded Commission. This material is critical to conducting oversight of radical efforts to pack the Supreme Court and undermine judicial independence.

Graham, Grassley and Jordan wrote, “Responding to progressive calls to pack the Court, President Biden created the Commission to provide ‘an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform’ and to explore various topics, including the ‘membership and size of the Court.’ In December 2021, the Commission issued its nearly 300-page final report to President Biden. While the Commission’s final report to President Biden avoided a full-throated embrace of ‘packing’ the Court, some Commission Members, such as Professor Caroline Frederickson, continued to publicly advocate for packing the Court. 

“The Commission’s work and ultimate report occurred during unprecedented and unrelenting attacks on the Court and its independence. For example, in 2019, Senate Democrats threatened the Supreme Court in an amicus brief to decide a case in the manner they preferred or be ‘restructured.’ In March 2020, the Senate Democratic Leader even went to the steps of the Court and threatened specific justices by name: ‘I want to tell you, Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.’ 

They continued, “Direct attacks on the Court only intensified following the unprecedented leak of the draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in May 2022. For example, left-wing groups engaged in harassment and intimidation campaigns outside Justices’ homes, and some offered bounties for the ‘location of the six Supreme Court Justices who voted [in June] to overturn Roe v. Wade’ following the issuance of the Dobbs opinion. In June 2022, a man showed up to Justice Kavanaugh’s home with a handgun, a tactical knife, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, and other gear to ‘remove some people from the Supreme Court’ in order to ‘stop Roe v. Wade from being overturned.’ The man allegedly hoped to assassinate as many as three justices because, in the man’s own words, if ‘there are more liberal than conservative judges, they will have the power.’”

Read the full letter to Robert Bauer here

Read the full letter to Cristina Rodriguez here