While Democrats threaten to expand the Supreme Court next year should Republicans fulfill their constitutional duty to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away Friday, the late justice made comments as recently as last year opposing the extreme measure.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg told NPR in July 2019. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Ginsburg continued, warning that such a move would only politicize the court.
“If anything would make the court look partisan,” Ginsburg warned, “it would be that – one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”
While weaponizing her death-bed wish that President Donald Trump not be the one to fill her vacancy on the high bench, Democrats warned they will pack the court installing new liberal justices to serve on their quasi-legislature if swept into power this November.
“Mitch McConnell set the precedent,” Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey wrote on Twitter, referring to McConnell’s decision to bar the passage of President Obama’s 2016 nominee Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. “No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020
The McConnell rule however, was the prohibition on confirming justices while the Senate and the White House are controlled by opposing parties. This year presents different circumstances, where voters expanded the Republican majority in the Senate in 2018.
Democratic calls to expand the court have echoed across the party establishment and their allies in the media, including New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, who in 2012, became the first attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress on both criminal and civil charges.
If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and President can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court. 1/2 https://t.co/BDYQ0KVmJe
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) September 19, 2020
“If in fact [Republicans] are successful in placing a justice on the court, I think that what Democrats have to do assuming Biden is president and there is a Senate majority for Democrats, we need to think about court reform, and at a minimum as part of that reform package, I think additional justices need to be placed on the Supreme Court,” Holder said on MSNBC.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer even alluded to the possibility of expanding the court pending a new majority in the upper chamber.
“Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table,” Schumer told congressional colleagues Saturday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said Democrats were open to launching a second impeachment over Trump executing his constitutional authority.
“We have arrows in our quiver,” Pelosi said on ABC “This Week” Sunday.