Gov. Mike DeWine joins Ohio Republicans in backing amendment to keep Supreme Court at 9 justices

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FILE – This Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, shows the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine has joined top Ohio Republicans in denouncing plans to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

DeWine issued a statement Tuesday backing a constitutional amendment that would lock the number of justices at nine. He was joined by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in supporting the measure.

“For over 150 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has been comprised of nine justices,” DeWine said. “Over the years, efforts to alter the composition of the court have always been met with skepticism by the American people of attempting to politicize the court. Keeping the number of justices at nine enshrined in the Constitution will prevent any political party from tampering with the court for political gain.”

Six of the current justices were appointed by Republican presidents, and expanding the court has been an idea floated by Democrats after former President Donald Trump was able to appoint three in his single term.

The number of justices, which has been nine since 1869, is determined by Congress, and legislation sponsored by Democrats has been introduced in both houses to expand the number to 12, although it is unlikely to gain traction.

Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced a joint resolution backing the “Keep Nine” amendment. Among the co-sponsors are several Ohioans, including Sen. Rob Portman and Columbus-area Reps. Troy Balderson and Steve Stivers.

In addition, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has spoken against expanding the court.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden formed a bipartisan commission to study several issues surrounding the court, including the number of justices.

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