A new poll shows that by a 62% to 18% margin voters would favor the “Keep Nine”
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would permanently preserve the current number of nine Supreme Court Justices.
On September 24, 2020, HJ Resolution 95 The Keep Nine Amendment, was proposed in the United States House of Representatives. The Keep Nine Amendment states: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine Justices.”
“Whether or not we can preserve an independent Supreme Court, or end up with a Court whose size could be manipulated for political advantage by whoever controls the White House and Congress will be a defining issue for the future of our nation,” said Paul Summers, former Attorney General of Tennessee, a retired Senior Judge, and a leader of the Keep Nine Amendment effort. “The overwhelming majority of voters who would favor the “Keep Nine” Amendment should make candidates think twice before refusing to answer questions about where they stand on the Amendment,” said Summers.
Key Points in support of the Keep Nine Amendment:
• After the Sept. 29 debate when Joe Biden refused to answer a question about whether he would expand the size of the Supreme Court, it is far more plausible that he and VP nominee Kamala Harris, could, if elected, one day seek to pack the Court so they can appoint a new majority of more liberal Justices.
• After being criticized for saying voters didn't deserve to know what his position was on expanding the size of the Court Joe Biden said on October 12 that he was "Not a fan" of Court packing. But he still hasn't answered the question of whether he would seek to expand the number of justices, or oppose such efforts.
• If one party successfully expanded or shrunk the Court for political advantage, another might well do so in retaliation, undermining the independence of the Court and the rule of law.
• Several times in our history prior to 1869, Congress expanded or shrunk the size of the Court for political advantage. After 1869 a tradition grew up that the Court should remain free of such political interference. When FDR tried to expand the number of Justices in 1937, strong bipartisan opposition defeated his plan.
• But now Democrats like former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and VP Nominee Kamala Harris have begun to speak favorably about packing the Court. Kamala Harris said she was "absolutely open to it". The Democratic Platform approved by Joe Biden urges "Court restructuring."
• To permanently prevent a future Congress and President from manipulating the size of the Court for political advantage, a Constitutional Amendment is required.
• There is now a proposed "Keep Nine" Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which simply says:
"The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine Justices."
• It is backed by a bipartisan coalition of former State Attorneys General and Members of Congress.
• Polls show voters would support it by a more than 3-1 margin of 62%-18%.
• The Keep Nine Amendment was introduced in the House as H.J. Res. 95 on September 23 with the bipartisan sponsorship of Rep Collin Peterson (D, MN) and Denver Riggleman (R, VA)
• It will soon be introduced in the Senate. We are gathering co-sponsors now.
• The Keep Nine Amendment was just endorsed by former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese.
• Unlike an earlier and admirable anti-Court packing Amendment sponsored by Sen. Rubio (R, FL) which only prohibits Congress from expanding the size of the Courts, the more recent and stronger Keep Nine Amendment would prohibit Congress from either increasing or decreasing the size of the Court.
• The Keep Nine Amendment is the only anti-Court packing Amendment with bipartisan support.
• It is the only proposed Amendment that permanently protects the independence of the Court from attempts to manipulate its size.
• Candidates and elected officials who won't support "Keep Nine", have no real excuse other than that they might one day want to change the size of the Court.
• Because polls show that Court packing is very unpopular with voters many candidates in close races are now saying they oppose expanding the size of the Supreme Court, some perhaps knowing they could find excuses to change their position later, after the election.
• So we must ask candidates who say they oppose Court packing today if they will support an Amendment to permanently ban it.
• A candidate who says YES to Keep Nine becomes part of a far more permanent firewall against Court packing. A candidate who says he or she opposes Court packing but won't back an Amendment to ban it, may have credibility problems with swing voters.
• We must increase the visibility of the Keep Nine Amendment now to increase the pressure on candidates to answer questions about whether they will endorse it.
• The easiest way to increase Keep Nine's visibility is to persuade candidates, elected officials, and political leaders we know to endorse the Amendment.
•We should encourage everyone we know to ask the candidates for whom they can vote if those candidates will endorse the Keep Nine Amendment to preserve the current number of nine Supreme Court Justices.
• Forcing candidates to take a stand on the Keep Nine Amendment to ban Court packing, and exposing those who refuse, could swing enough undecided voters to determine the winner in key Presidential states, Senate and House races.
• The Keep Nine and the grassroots efforts to educate people about it could be one of the most important new factors shaping the last month of the 2020 campaign.
• And given the likelihood that left-leaning progressives will one day win another super majority and use that majority to pack the Court, an Amendment is a critical long-term safeguard for protecting the independence of the Court.
• Much as pressure from the public and states persuaded Congress to propose Amendments guaranteeing a woman's right to vote and imposing presidential term limits, a similar effort could persuade Congress to propose and states to ratify the Keep Nine Amendment.
• For more information about the bipartisan Keep Nine Amendment and its supporters visit www.KeepNine.org
• If you would like to become more involved with or support this effort please contact:
Coalition to Preserve an Independent U.S. Supreme Court
Amy Coney Barrett
Affordable Care Act
Abortion, Roe v. Wade
separation of powers
HJ Resolution 95
Keep Nine Amendment