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May 13, 2022

Cecile Richards is coming to JAC

What's On Our Mind ...

In the aftermath of SCOTUS’s leaked draft opinion on Roe v Wade that leaves the future of our non-codified rights uncertain, a debate has once again arisen: the size of the Supreme Court.

The nation’s highest court, for the most part, was immune to the political winds and remained pretty balanced. However, that changed when Trump ceded the selection of SCOTUS judges, and most lower court judges, to the conservative, right-wing Federalist Society.

The Constitution does not set the number of judges who sit on SCOTUS. Congress must approve any changes to the Court’s size. Rather, these number of seats are a result of a long history of expanding and shrinking the court to meet political ends. In 1801, the Court was shrunk from six seats to five seats under President John Adams in order to prevent Thomas Jefferson’s appointment to the Court. But as President, Jefferson would then go on to restore the sixth seat and add a seventh.

President Andrew Jackson expanded the court to nine members. President Ulysses Grant wanted to appoint Justices so he expanded the Court to nine seats from the seven that had been legislated in 1866. President Abraham Lincoln would add a tenth to prevent the Court from interfering with the Union’s cause. President Franklin Roosevelt tried but failed expand the Court to 15 seats.

Will adding a few Biden-appointed Supreme Court Justices end the current conservative stranglehold on the court and return the Court to balance? Potentially. But, what would happen to the checks and balances this country depends on if the number of seats on the Court are always open for discussion. Court size could become a dangerous slippery slope for our democracy.

Reform may be needed, but in what form and size? One suggestion includes Justice term limits. Another idea would be to establish partisan balance require­ments by giving each president two seats to fill per four-year term that expire if left unused. This plan could help to defuse the Court’s current intense politi­ciz­a­tion and restore its long-term public legit­im­acy, according to the Brennan Center.

Democracy is not static. But change must be carefully examined before proceeding and without political motivations. Whatever ultimately happens, it is imperative that the Court still remains the final arbiter of the law and delivers equal justice to all. Our rights and lives depend on this.

What do you think? Email us at [email protected] and share your thoughts on court reform.

Elections matter because courts matter.


Upcoming Events

Jan Schakowsky's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch (D-IL)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will join the luncheon

Sit at the JAC Table & join us for a special Meet & Greet with Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) after the luncheon.

Friday, May 20

11:00 am CT | Chicago, IL

In-person event - all attendees must be fully vaccinated.

RSVP here

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JAC Power of Women Spring Luncheon 

With Cecile Richards

Tuesday, June 21

11:00 am CT | Chicago, IL

In-person & Zoom event- all attendees must be fully vaccinated.

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Join JAC's voter mobilization team to write postcards and make phone calls to voters.

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May 11, 2022 Unacceptable. #roevwade #mybodymychoice

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In the News

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The Last Word

“If handed down, this decision by GOP-appointed Justices would mean that, for the first time in our history, America's daughters will have less freedom than their mothers.”

Nancy Pelosi on the leaked SCOTUS opinion on Roe v Wade


Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.

Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.