Back on April 9, President Biden signed an executive order which created a commission meant to look into certain elements of the Supreme Court. Some of the main questions researched by the commission were: should the justices have term limits, should the number of justices be changed, and is the shadow docket a fair practice?
This commission is made up of 36 members, all of which are Supreme Court experts, scholars or retired members of the federal judiciary. For a deeper look into each member of this commission, we have an article to help break all of that down. You can find it here.
This group of experts had 180 days to put together a report that wouldn’t give recommendations on how to change the Supreme Court, but rather to outline the legalities and merrits of the reform proposals given to them by the President. And with that time limit reached, we have some new information.
On Friday the 15th, the commission spoke publicly about some of their research and findings. Beyond that, they released hundreds of pages worth of research and work they had done up to this point. These pages covered topics like: the genesis of the reform debate, membership and size of the Supreme Court, term limits, the court’s role in the judicial system, case selection review, and docket rules and practices. It is important to note, however, that all of these documents are just drafts. They are not the final product. This was clearly stated numerous times by the commission when it spoke on Friday, stating that anyone who read the documents should refrain from jumping to conclusions.
The commission still needs to hold final discussions, which will take place in a meeting on November 10. Then on November 14, they will issue a final report to President Biden. In the meantime, if you want to read the draft documents released by the commission, you can find those here.