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Doug Collins to Introduce Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting Adding Justices to Supreme Court

Rep. Doug Collins speaks to the media as the impeachment trial of President Trump continues in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Representative Doug Collins is preparing to introduce a constitutional amendment to block potential attempts to add justices to the Supreme Court as some Democrats eye adding seats should President Trump’s upcoming nominee be confirmed.

The amendment would block “court packing,” or adding justices to the Supreme Court, for 10 years after any bill is passed to enlarge the court, a measure Collins said aims to “take the political emotion of the moment out of the way.”

“The proposed amendment—really, it should be a bipartisan issue,” the Georgia Republican said. “We should not have decisions like packing the court to be based on emotional or political decisions.”

“The reason we did it is because it seems like the Democrats, every time they don’t get what they want, they want to change the rules,” Collins added.

Several Democrats have suggested or said directly that they are open to adding justices to the Court should President Trump’s proposed nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg be confirmed.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “nothing is off the table” if Democrats gain control of the Senate, and Senator Ed Markey called directly for abolishing the filibuster and expanding the Supreme Court. House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said that if Senate Republicans confirm a justice before a new Senate and president take office “then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court.”

Meanwhile, House Democrats are planning to introduce a bill next week that would limit the terms of Supreme Court justices to 18 years instead of their current lifetime tenure.

“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” said Representative Ro Khanna, the Democratic bill’s lead sponsor.

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