President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both made clear that they plan to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing.
During a recent episode of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” former Attorney General Eric Holder discussed what the Democratic response could look like: court packing.
“You would put in place — if this is allowed to happen, a 6-3 court,” Breitbart quoted the Obama administration official as telling host Al Sharpton on Saturday.
“And with all the issues you have talked about, you would have a conservative majority — or illegitimate conservative majority on the court ruling on the matters that will affect the nation for generations to come,” he continued.
Holder: “I think additional justices need to be placed on the Supreme Court”
Holder went on to recall President Obama’s failed effort to appoint Judge Merrick Garland in the dying days of his second term, an attempt that was successfully blocked by McConnell.
“One of the realities is if Merrick Garland had been confirmed, as he should have been, there would have been a progressive majority for the past three years,” he insisted. “And think what about that meant.”
“So I think if, if in fact, they are successful in placing a justice on the court, I think that what Democrats have to do, assuming that Biden is president and there is a Senate majority for the Democrats, we need to think about court reform.”
Packing the court is “reform,” Holder says
The former attorney general then when on to advocate for something known as “court packing.” Threatened by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937, it involves expanding the number of Supreme Court justices.
“And at a minimum, as part of that reform package, I think additional justices need to be placed on the Supreme Court,” Holder concluded.
The idea has been criticized by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the past. “No, I’m not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we’ll live to rue that day,” he said last year. Pressured about it again on Monday, Biden evaded the question.
While Biden keeps his cards close, Holder is far from the only Democrat to call for extreme action. According to Politico, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has threatened that “nothing is off the table” should Republicans move to confirm a nominee.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to rule out the possibility that she would move to impeach either President Trump or Attorney General Bill Barr as a way to tie up the Senate’s time until the election.