Congressional Democrats plan to unveil legislation expanding the size of the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to three congressional sources familiar with the closely held measure.
The bill would add four seats to the high court, bringing the total to 13 from the current nine. The bill is led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, subcommittee Chair Hank Johnson, and first-term Rep. Mondaire Jones. In the Senate, the bill is being championed by Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
The number of justices on the court, which is set by Congress, has fluctuated throughout the course of the nation’s history, reaching as many as 10 seats before settling on nine in 1869. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz suggested that if Hillary Clinton were elected, the Republican Senate should keep Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat empty, effectively bringing the number of justices down to eight.
Republicans currently hold six seats, while Democrats hold just three.