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Democratic Candidates Want to Expand the Supreme Court

Democrats are sick of watching Mitch McConnell stack the federal judiciary — including the Supreme Court — with right-wing judges.

So now many of them want to retaliate, and they are starting to talk about a radical response that would allow a future Democratic president and Senate to add two new liberal justices to the highest court in the land.

Current 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have all said they would not rule out expanding the Supreme Court if elected president, according to a new article in POLITICO.

Until recently the idea of adding Supreme Court justices was considered a “far out” idea with few supporters. But now it seems everyone is interested in the idea.

According to POLITICO:

“The surprising openness from White House hopefuls along with other prominent Senate Democrats to making sweeping changes — from adding seats to the high court to imposing term limits on judges and more — comes as the party is eager to chip away at the GOP’s growing advantage in the courts.”

“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” said Harris, the junior U.S. Senator from California “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”

Expanding the Supreme Court would be an historic move by a party that until this year was completely shut out of power in Washington. It would lead to an intense fight in Congress, and would also require abandoning many past  judicial and congressional norms.

Democrats, however, argue that after McConnell and other Republicans blocked Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland (and other federal judgeships) they now must find an appropriate way to fight back.

In a recent interview Gillibrand said that she believes that Justice Neil Gorsuch holds an illegitimate seat on the high court.

The junior Senator from New York also said that she believes the Senate must move quickly to impose strict new ethics rules on the Supreme Court.

Senator Warren of Massachusetts also added:

“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court. “It’s a conversation that’s worth having.”

Warren also mentioned bringing appellate judges into Supreme Court cases as an option.

Previously two other Democratic candidates — South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke both said they would consider increasing by two the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

Pushing the expansion effort are many progressive groups, including Demand Justice and Indivisible. These groups are very anxious for Democrats to go on the offensive and fight back against Republicans.

Take the Supreme Court Out of Politics, and Take Politics Out of the Supreme Court

Most people, however, want the high court to be taken out of politics, and for politics to be taken out of the court.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who supports the idea of expanding the Supreme Court, said:

“The court should not be a court that you can figure out who the Republican judges are and who aren’t.”

And she is right. Justice should be blind, and the outcome of court cases should be based on law, not the political biases of Supreme Court justices.

But since the GOP has stacked the Supreme Court with their own conservative partisans like Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, it is entirely reasonable now to balance things out by allowing a Democratic president to appoint two new justices with liberal backgrounds.

Leo Vidal

I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.

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