‘There’s only one solution’: Democrats revive calls to pack the Supreme Court

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging a Mississippi law that bans abortion in the state after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Many on the left fear that the court’s conservative justices may vote to uphold the law, breaking with prior precedent and effectively allowing abortions to be banned at the state level prior to the point of fetal viability. Now, several big-name Democrats are demanding extreme measures to prevent that possibility, with some even reviving calls to add justices to the Supreme Court bench in response to what they describe as rampant partisanship.

Adding justices in an effort to sway the court’s ideological tilt is a practice known as “court-packing.” And as Fox News reports, Democrats aren’t shying away from the idea.

Dems want new justices

Among those crying foul as the court considers the Mississippi case is California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, who said, “A ‘conservative’ court would uphold precedent. But a ‘partisan’ court may not — and this may be the most partisan court in history.”

“We must protect a woman’s right to choose,” he added, according to Fox.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, also a Democrat, made a similar demand. “What’s happening today is the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for ending Roe and people’s freedom to get an abortion,” she wrote in a tweet.

“I worked at Planned Parenthood and know what this would mean for women. If the Court takes this action, led by Republican justices, it’s impossible to argue they are not partisan,” Smith added, along with the hashtag #ExpandTheCourt.

“Restore fairness”

Also sounding the alarm was California Rep. Judy Chu (D), who declared in a tweet of her own, “Thanks to Republican court packing, our Supreme Court has been manipulated to protect GOP political goals, not our Constitution.”

“From bodily autonomy to voting rights, there’s only one solution: we need to pass the Judiciary Act to #ExpandTheCourt and restore fairness,” Chu added, according to Fox.

The legislation, put forward earlier this year by Democrat Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY), would raise the number of justices on the high court bench from nine to 13.

A look ahead

However, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley tells Fox that such a move is likely to spark a political backlash. “The public is overwhelmingly against court-packing,” Turley warned, recalling that even “President Biden called this a boneheaded idea.”

Fortunately for the GOP, any effort to increase the Supreme Court’s size would likely require support from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has long said he is opposed to the idea.

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