Multiple Democratic presidential contenders have shown positive reactions to the idea of expanding the Supreme Court of the United States to more than it’s current nine justices, according to The Hill.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand(N.Y.) all told Politico that they would be willing to consider packing the courts, something that has become popular among liberals since former president Barack Obama’s last pick for the Supreme Court was blocked by Congress.
“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” Harris told Politico. “We have to take this challenge head-on, and everything is on the table to do that.”
Warren said that she believes adding to the current roster of nine should be considered, as well as bringing appellate judges into Supreme Court cases.
“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” she told Politico. “It’s a conversation that’s worth having,” she added.
Democrats didn’t hide their frustration when the Republican majority Senate blocked Merrick Garland, Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia, but held the spot open following Scalia’s February 2016 death until after President Donald Trump could nominate a conservative.
Trump has successfully nominated both Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which has caused a distinct lean to the right for the nation’s high court, thanks to Kavanaugh’s replacement of the moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy
Along with presidential candidates, other Democrats have also backed the proposition:
“The court should not be a court that you can figure out who the Republican judges are and who aren’t,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Politico.
Former House representative and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has also encouraged the idea of expanding the court, as well as putting term limits on the justices currently on the bench.
“What if there were five justices selected by Democrats, five justices selected by Republicans and those 10 then pick five more justices independent of those who picked the first 10,” said O’Rourke. “I think that’s an idea we should explore.”