In a rare display of disobedience to Democrats and the media, Senate Republicans are daring to speak out against adding more justices to the Supreme Court.
Democrats are talking about using the tactic to try restore some of their power on the high court, in the face of President Trump’s appointing of conservative judges to open spots since he was elected in 2016. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate, will be his third Supreme Court appointment.
The senators are even pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban raising the number of justices to more than nine, FOX News is reporting.
“I can’t think of a more destabilizing event for America than changing the number of [justices] on the Supreme Court every election cycle because it becomes a winner-take-all for the court,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Graham said raising the number of justices would end the independence of the judiciary. He urged his colleagues to join the effort to block court-packing. In March of last year Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., floated a constitutional amendment to limit the Supreme Court to nine justices, predicting Democrats’ moves to pack the court.
Responding to Democrats who say the outcome of the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation vote will determine whether they would favor expanding the court, Rubio said: “They were going to do that anyway and that’s why our amendment was filed a year and a half ago.”
The issue of court-packing re-emerged mere moments after the Sept. 18 death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg only weeks before Americans decide the next president and control of the Senate.
If Republicans nominate Barrett and cement a 6-3 conservative tilt of the Supreme Court, threatened Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., “nothing is off the table” in terms of payback.