Dem Rep. Barbara Lee demands expansion of SCOTUS with lib justices to counter conservative majority

 May 23, 2023

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a frontrunner to replace the elderly and unwell Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called on Sunday for the U.S. Supreme Court to be expanded with the addition of four new liberal-leaning justices, Breitbart reported.

That would grow the high court's bench from nine to 13 and would shift the current ideological balance from 6-3 in favor of the right to 7-6 in favor of the left.

Known as "packing the court," many progressive Democrats have been keen on expanding the size of the Supreme Court due explicitly to their partisan disapproval of how the court has ruled on major cases in recent years.

Progressives complain about conservative-leaning court majority

The East Bay Times reported that Rep. Lee held a press conference on Sunday in Oakland with local Democratic leaders and representatives of a coalition of around 30 progressive activist groups known as "Just Majority" that has demanded a radical overhaul of the Supreme Court.

The congresswoman and her comrades have called for not only an expansion of the high court with the immediate appointment of four new liberal jurists but also the imposition of term limits and heightened ethical standards -- violations of which would be investigated and punished by Congress.

Lee said that the current makeup of the high court, which she deemed to be an "unethical, unaccountable conservative majority," constituted a "crisis of democracy" while the "Just Majority" coalition argued that the majority was "basing their decisions on politics and not the law."

She also asserted that "This is not some new, radical idea," in reference to the fact that Congress has altered the size of the Supreme Court multiple times throughout U.S. history, albeit not since the mid-1800s.

Lee explicitly calls for expansion for partisan purposes

Local NBC affiliate KNTV reported that Rep. Lee said during the Sunday press conference, "I’ve witnessed political gamesmanship over lifetime appointments, I’ve seen more ethics scandals than I can count," and added, "But let me tell you, I’ve never been more fearful for the future of our highest court than I am today."

"The only way to restore balance, integrity, and independence is by adding seats," the congresswoman said as she advocated for expansion along with term limits and ethical accountability reforms.

Lee added, "Through the Judiciary Act we can add four seats to the bench and restore a Supreme Court that is truly representative of the people."

Democrat-backed Judiciary Act "faces long odds" of being passed

Politico reported last week that progressive Democrats in both the House and Senate had reintroduced the so-called Judiciary Act that had first been submitted in the prior session of Congress but saw no real movement.

That bill would quite simply increase the number of seats on the Supreme Court bench from nine to 13, though it is unclear what sort of process or timeline would be in play with regard to filling out those new seats with new justices.

The outlet noted, however, that the measure "faces long odds" of actually being passed by the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim one-seat majority, much less in the Republican-controlled House.

Suffice it to say, there is almost no chance whatsoever that the Supreme Court will be expanded any time soon, but that won't stop partisan Democrats and allied activists from continuing to openly insist upon a partisan packing of the high court simply because they don't agree with how the current majority tends to rule on most issues.

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