AP NEWS

2020 progressives open to adding justices to the Supreme Court, diminishing conservative majority

March 18, 2019

Some of the progressives vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have said they’ll consider diminishing the conservative majority on the Supreme Court either by adding more justices or by imposing term limits.

South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg was the latest to weigh in, proposing not only an expansion to 15, but a new system for picking them, with 10 appointed by the president and five more picked by the other justices.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” he also said a national debate is needed regarding the imposition of term limits and whether appellate judges should rotate up to the high court.

“We can’t go on like this where every time there’s a vacancy, there’s this apocalyptic ideological battle,” he added.

Still sour from losing the confirmation battle of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, progressive voters have been pushing the Democrats to take action.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, has reportedly said either imposing term limits or expanding the number of judges are “interesting ideas.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, California Democrat, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, have also told Politico they’re open to expanding the court.

Adam Brandon, president of the conservative activist group FreedomWorks, said the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are out of touch and an attempt to pack the court would backfire.

“The American people elected President Trump and a Republican Senate to confirm conservative justices who will uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. By packing the court to advance their far-left agenda, Democrats seek to circumvent the will of the American people,” Mr. Brandon said.

As long as the GOP holds a majority in the Senate, it’s unlikely a Democratic president could add more justices. It would take an act of Congress to change up the number on the high court.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to pack the court with new judgeships in 1937, after watching the high court deal setbacks to his New Deal initiatives.

That legislation was not popular with the public and ultimately stalled.