In a decision that left Democrats reeling, the Supreme Court ruled 6–3 on Thursday to uphold a pair of voting laws in Arizona that those on the left said made it harder for voters, particularly those in minority communities, to cast their ballots, CBS News reported.
Now, The Daily Wire reports that Dems are reviving their calls to add justices to the high court bench in hopes of preventing future wins for the GOP.
“The right place to start”
Known as “court-packing,” the practice gained popularity in the wake of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when then-President Donald Trump got the chance to appoint a third jurist to the Supreme Court, effectively solidifying the court’s conservative tilt for decades to come.
At the time, Democrats including House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said such a move by Democrats would be justified, as Senate Republicans had blocked then-President Barack Obama from appointing a justice during his final term in office, only to confirm Trump appointee Amy Coney Barrett under similar circumstances.
“Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials,” Nadler said ahead of Barrett’s confirmation, according to The Hill. “Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start.”
Now, as the court continues to churn out losses for liberals, some in Washington are reviving calls to expand the bench.
“No time to waste”
Among those pushing for changes is Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D), who said in a statement following the Supreme Court’s latest ruling that the decision marked “another blow to voting rights in America, on top of the tsunami of voter suppression laws moving in state legislatures across the country.”
“We have no time to waste in our efforts to protect the right to vote. We must abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” he added. “And we must pass my Judiciary Act of 2021 to expand the Supreme Court and restore balance to our top court.”
Markey warned: “If we fail to do so, it is a near-certainty that the Court’s conservative majority will continue to rule in favor of the far-right interests of those that orchestrated the theft of these seats.”
“What are we waiting for?”
The senator’s concerns were shared by New York Rep. Mondaire Jones, a progressive Democrat who accused SCOTUS of “gutting” voting rights. “If we don’t expand the Court soon, we will no longer have a democracy to protect,” Jones wrote in a tweet, according to The Daily Wire. “What are we waiting for?”
Now-President Joe Biden famously refused to share his stance on court-packing on the campaign trail last fall, The Daily Wire noted. Instead, he’s deferred to a committee, created via executive order in April, that’s designed to examine potential reforms to the Supreme Court, including adding justices to the bench.
With that, it’s hard to say what’s in store for the high court as it wraps up its 2020-2021 term. If progressives like Jones and Markey have their way, we could be in for some big changes moving forward.