Progressives renew calls for court-packing in response to SCOTUS decision on Texas abortion law

Democrats were left outraged this week when the Supreme Court opted not to block a new pro-life law in Texas from going into effect. Now, Fox News reports that some on the left are threatening drastic measures to avoid similar outcomes in the future.

Among them is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat who renewed calls for new seats to be added to the Supreme Court bench in a tweet on Wednesday.

“Expand the court”

The practice, known as court-packing, would allow Democrat President Joe Biden to appoint a number of new justices to the high court in an effort to sway its ideological tilt back to the left. The SCOTUS has been dominated by conservatives since then-President Donald Trump saw three nominees confirmed to the bench.

“Republicans promised to overturn Roe v Wade, and they have,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Wednesday in response to the Supreme Court’s 5–4 decision allowing a strict abortion ban in Texas to stand. “Democrats can either abolish the filibuster and expand the court, or do nothing as millions of peoples’ bodies, rights, and lives are sacrificed for far-right minority rule.”

The New York congresswoman and so-called “Squad” member went on to say that making such changes “shouldn’t be a difficult decision.”

“No middle ground”

Ocasio-Cortez was not alone in demanding that additional justices be added to the Supreme Court bench. Fellow New York Rep. Mondaire Jones (D) took up the issue as well. “There is no middle ground when it comes to fundamental rights and liberties,” the progressive congressman insisted in a tweet. “There is only one way to take seriously the threat of the Supreme Court majority and protect millions of Americans. We must #ExpandTheCourt.”

So did Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D), who took issue with another Supreme Court decision last week that invalidated the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ongoing moratorium on residential evictions.

“In the span of one week the Supreme Court forced 11 million households to face eviction and effectively overturned Roe v. Wade in the middle of the night,” Bush declared on Twitter. “This is what far-right extremism looks like. We need to expand the court.”

“Packing the courts”

As Fox News noted, Roe v. Wade has not been overturned; the Supreme Court simply refused to grant an injunction against the Texas law on procedural grounds, while offering no opinion as to its constitutionality.

What’s more, any attempt to “pack” the court would surely face opposition not only from Republican lawmakers, but also from more moderate members of the Democratic caucus.

Among the most prominent Democrat centrists is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has long voiced his opposition to changing the Supreme Court’s size.

“I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin told Fox News last November. As progressives ramp up their rhetoric, we can only hope he holds firm on that vow.

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