Democrats are pushing court-packing legislation in Congres, but over the years, multiple U.S. Supreme Court justices have warned against the idea of expanding the number of justices — striking a major blow to growing Democrat plans to re-design the high court in their own image.
Justice Stephen Breyer has served as a liberal justice on the court since 1994. He has been publicly challenged by some Democrats in recent weeks to retire this year to allow a replacement while the left is in power.
He has noted, “Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception. There can be no shortcuts to it.”
The late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg also opposed expanding the number of justices. “Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg told NPR in July 2019.
“I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
In the same interview, Ginsburg added, “If anything would make the court look partisan,” she said, “it would be that — one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already noted she will not forward the current proposal to expand the U.S. Supreme Court. She told reporters, “I have no plan to bring it to the floor.”
Pelosi acknowledges what consultant Douglas Schoen wrote, “But most Americans do not need or want another partisan showdown on the Supreme Court, which is exactly what packing it would devolve into.”