TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The makeup of the United States Supreme court, usually a key issue in presidential races, appeared in front of Kansas lawmakers on Friday.
A new resolution would urge Congress to keep nine members on the high court. It has been this way for more than 150 years, but there is nothing preventing Congress from making a change.
The resolution would call on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to ensure that only nine members can be on the court.
The court is currently made up of six appointees by a Republican president and three by a Democratic one.
Certain politicians have pushed to increase its size, as some believe the numbers favor conservatives too much. That prompted others to worry that if there is a change, court packing would occur, meaning the party in power would advance more nominees to reshape the court.
“It is already political, so to pretend that it is not political is inaccurate, but it appears that it could be meaningfully more political if the number of justices could also be adjusted in an administration,” said Assaria Representative Steven Johnson.
Johnson said that adding to the amount of members on the court could impact the country for years.
“The timing of who might have the power to change that, and the possible implication, the implication that goes with the lifetime appointment potentially, what does that do, and what potential undo powers does that add above those that already exist,” he said.
Some could argue that Republicans want to do this just because they have the majority of appointed members. Johnson said people will need to look to the future on how the court should look no matter who is in charge.
“I think everybody has to take that potential bias into judgement,” Johnson said.
If passed, this would just be a message. It currently sits in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
If a U.S. Constitutional amendment was proposed, it would need to be approved by three-fourths of all state legislatures to take effect.