09:41 GMT15 May 2021
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    Last Friday, the White House announced that US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on the creation of a bipartisan commission that will study the need for reform of the US Supreme Court, including a possible increase in the number of judges, among other issues.

    A majority of Americans want lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices ended, but less than half support other attempts to change the judiciary, a new Ipsos poll revealed, which was released by Reuters on Sunday.

    According to the nationwide survey, which was conducted on Thursday and Friday, 63% of adults favor term or age limits for Supreme Court justices. Another 22% said they were opposed to any restrictions, while the rest were undecided.

    Just 38% of respondents said they would favor adding four more justices to the Supreme Court, according to the survey. Another 42% said they would oppose it, while the others were undecided. 

    Just 49% of Americans have a "great deal" or "fair amount" of confidence in decisions made by the Supreme Court, according to the survey. In contrast, 43% of respondents said they trusted the White House's decisions, while 32% said the same about congressional decisions.

    On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation to expand the Supreme Court to 13 judges, a change they hope would restore public confidence in the judiciary. Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts, Representatives Hank Johnson and Mondaire Jones, and the head of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler were the initiators of the bill.

    Since conservatives currently hold a 6-to-3 Supreme Court majority, some Democrats are pushing for expanding the number of sitting justices in a bid to dismantle the majority, or pack the court, as senior GOP members say. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier warned against "turning the Supreme Court into just a political football."

    The party's leadership, on the other hand, seems averse to going down this path.

    Though Congress has the power to introduce some changes to the number of justices on the court, ending lifetime appointments will require a constitutional amendment.


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