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An Argument for the Keep Nine Amendment

An Argument for the Keep Nine Amendment
Posted: Mar 11, 2021
Categories: Articles
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Op-Ed by NFRW President Ann Schockett

“Nine seems to be a good number.”

So said the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in an NPR interview in 2019 regarding speculation about expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court, also known as court-packing.

Many Americans are surprised to learn the number of justices serving on the Supreme Court of the United States is not fixed in the Constitution. America has had nine justices on the Supreme Court since 1869, and most would say it’s worked well in maintaining the checks and balances in our government.

So why would anyone want to change that? The answer is simple – blatant partisan politics. There are politicians who want to use the Supreme Court to green-light policies initiated by the President through the back door of our court system when they can’t get them passed in the legislature. Expanding the number of justices, they feel, would aid in that process.

Court-packing is not a new concept. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to expand the number of Supreme Court Justices in an attempt to push through more of his New Deal policies. Even members of Roosevelt’s own party thought this scheme would undermine the independence of our judiciary and pose a threat to the separation of powers among our three branches of government. He abandoned the idea.

Why fix what isn’t broken in the first place?

Liberal politicians and left-wing advocacy groups, however, are revisiting the concept. Frustrated by the ideological balance of the current Supreme Court - particularly with confirmation of President Trump’s nominees Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanagh, and Amy Coney Barrett – these activists are demanding that “the Supreme Court needs to be fixed and balance restored.”

Fortunately a bipartisan group composed of members of Congress, senators, and state attorneys general has emerged to set nine as the number of justices on the Supreme Court through an amendment to our Constitution. The “Keep Nine” amendment states simply: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine Justices.” This amendment to the Constitution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) as H.J.Res. 11. Over 60 members have signed on as supporters. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently introduced a companion proposal, S.J.Res. 9, which he described as “preserving the integrity and independence of the Court, and protecting Americans’ constitutional liberties.”

Now more than ever we as Americans need to preserve the independent nature of the Supreme Court. Court-packing completely undermines the separation of powers as written in the U.S. Constitution.

A recent poll showed that 62% of American voters would favor a constitutional amendment to keep our Supreme Court at nine justices. I urge our NFRWarriors to get behind this important constitutional amendment. To help this gain traction, I recommend the following action items:

  • Ask your U.S. senators to support S.J.Res. 9.
     
  • Ask your U.S. representative to sign onto H.J.Res. 11.
     
  • If your senators and/or representatives have already signed onto these resolutions, contact them and thank them for their support in upholding this important part of our Constitution.
     
  • Ask your governor to issue a statement of support for the Keep Nine Amendment.
     
  • When contacting your elected officials, ask them to issue a statement publicly supporting the Keep Nine Amendment.
     
  • Stay informed about the status of the Keep Nine Amendment by going online to www.keepnine.org.

We are living in a hyper-partisan world with an emboldened left seeking to manipulate or weaken the Constitution in order to gain more power. It is imperative that we have a fair and impartial judiciary to maintain a balance in our government.

House Supporters of H.J.Res. 11
Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD)
Congressman and RSC Chair Jim Banks (R-IN)
Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND)
Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO)
Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA)
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE)
Congressman Alexander Mooney (R-WV)
Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK)
Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV)
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN)
Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Congressman Jack Berkman (R-MI)
Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R- IA)
Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX)
Congressman Burgess Owens (R-UT)
Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA)
Congressman Van Taylor (R-TX)
Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX)
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Congressman Pat Fallon (R-TX)
Congressman Dan Bishop (R-NC)
Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT)
Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC)
Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL)
Congressman John Rutheford (R-FL)
Congressman John Curtis (R-UT)
Congressman James Baird (R-IN)
Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA)
Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC)
Congressman William Timmons IV (R-SC)
Congressman Michael San Nicholas (D- Guam)
Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC)
Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC)
Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC)
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Congressman Thomas Tiffany (R-WI)
Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL)
Congressman Randy K. Weber (R-TX)
Congressman Randy Feenstra (R-IA)
Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (R-MN)
Congressman Rick Allen (R-GA)
Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH)
Congressman Dan Meuser (R-PA)
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA)
Congressman August Pfluger (R-TX)
Congresswoman Young Kim (R-CA)
Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA)
Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI)
Congressman David Joyce (R-OH)
Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Congressman David McKinley (R-WI)
Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC)
Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX)
Congressman John Katko (R-NY)
Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI)
Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA)
Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC)
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-NM)
Congressman Scott Franklin (R-FL)
Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL)
Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX)
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R- AL)
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK)
Congressman Andrew Garbarino (R- NY)
Congressman Tracey Mann (R-KS)

Senate Co-Sponsors of S.J.Res. 9
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senator John Boozman (R-AR)
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT)
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN)
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA)
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

 

 

 

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