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H.J.Res. 53 (116th): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to require that the Supreme Court be composed of not more than nine justices.

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About the resolution

With several presidential candidates advocating more justices on the Supreme Court, should it be forced to remain at nine?


Since 1869, the Supreme Court has contained nine justices, but that number has fluctuated during American history.

At first, there were six justices. In 1807, that increased to seven. In 1837, that increased to nine. In 1863, that increased to 10. It was brought back down to seven in 1866. The status quo of nine justices has remained since 1869.

While the Court’s existence is required by the Constitution, the exact number of justices remains unspecified. The last serious attempt by an incumbent president to change the number was in the 1930s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The plan didn’t pass Congress.

Current Democrats are livid about what ...

Sponsor and status

Mike Gallagher

Sponsor. Representative for Wisconsin's 8th congressional district. Republican.

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Last Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Length: 2 pages
Mar 25, 2019
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This resolution was introduced on March 25, 2019, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.



Mar 25, 2019

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.J.Res. 53 (116th) was a joint resolution in the United States Congress.

A joint resolution is often used in the same manner as a bill. If passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and signed by the President, it becomes a law. Joint resolutions are also used to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Resolutions numbers restart every two years. That means there are other resolutions with the number H.J.Res. 53. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This joint resolution was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

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“H.J.Res. 53 — 116th Congress: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to require that the Supreme ...” 2019. June 15, 2021 <>

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GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.