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Republican senators propose constitutional amendment to keep number of Supreme Court justices at 9

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi have put forward the proposal.

Updated: October 20, 2020 - 5:59pm

Six Republican senators have introduced two proposals that aim to prevent the altering of the number of Supreme Court justices from the current level fixed at nine.

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi have put forward a joint resolution proposing a constitutional amendment that would enshrine a nine-member requirement for the nation's high court. 

"The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices," the proposed amendment reads.

The other proposal from the Republican legislators entails making a point of order against legislation seeking to alter the amount of justices on the nation's high court.

"In the Senate, it shall not be in order to consider a provision in a bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report amending section 1 of title 28, United States Code, to modify, or that otherwise modifies, the total number of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States," a portion of the bill reads.

An included provision would allow for two-thirds of senators to vote in order to surmount this rule.

"In the Senate, this section may be waived or suspended only by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chose and sworn," the bill states. "An affirmative vote of two-thirds of Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section." 

Currently only eight judges are on the bench, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. President Trump has appointed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy. The Senate will vote on her confirmation on Monday.

"Make no mistake, if Democrats win the election, they will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, expanding the number of justices to advance their radical political agenda, entrenching their power for generations, and destroying the foundations of our democratic system," Sen. Cruz said in a statement

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