Democrats are moving forward with Supreme Court reform by introducing a bill to expand the bench from nine justices to thirteen in response to years of Republican court-packing and judicial abuse.
Back in 2016, Republicans refused to confirm current Attorney General Merrick Garland to the high court by arguing that nominees can’t be confirmed to the Supreme Court during an election year. It was a way for the GOP to steal a seat, which was filled by disgraced former President Donald Trump with Neil Gorsuch. Trump then installed accused rapist and perjurer Brett Kavanuagh to the court, and hypocritically added Amy Coney Barrett to the court just weeks before Election Day in 2020, therefore giving Republicans a 6-3 majority on the bench that could destroy reproductive rights, civil rights, and voting rights at any moment.
Make no mistake, the Supreme Court is now the greatest threat to democracy and that’s why it needs to be expanded. On Thursday, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other congressional Democrats formally introduced a bill to do just that in an announcement in front of the Supreme Court itself.
“Republicans stole the Court’s majority, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation completing their crime spree,” Markey said in a statement. “Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our Constitution, this stands as one of his greatest travesties. Senate Republicans have politicized the Supreme Court, undermined its legitimacy, and threatened the rights of millions of Americans, especially people of color, women, and our immigrant communities.”
Indeed, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the chief facilitator of this crime spree in his scheme for Republicans to seize power through the courts.
The bill introduced by Democrats would expand the court to 13 seats, which President Joe Biden and a Democratic Senate would fill. The balance of power would swing back and all the progress our nation has made over the last century would be protected.
And there is clear precedent for expanding the court since it has been done several times in our history. by Congress, which has the power to do this via the Constitution.
The current nine seats were established by the Judiciary Act of 1869 to correspond with the number of appellate courts. There are now 13 such courts, so expanding the number of Supreme Court justices to 13 would bring the court up to date.
Democratic leaders and President Biden have expressed reluctance to expand the high court, but progressives have made it clear that this is a top priority because the conservative majority on the court is poised to drag the country backwards. If Democrats want to make sure their policies can’t be undone by a radical right-wing court majority, it is in their best interest to pass this legislation, whether Republicans like it or not.
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