Democrats' court-packing push haunted by 2016 'We Need Nine' campaign

Congressional Democrats Reportedly Plan Bill to Expand Supreme Court

Democrats said the bill would restore balance to the Supreme Court, which now has a conservative majority.

Democrats are still angry that President Barack Obama's court nominee, Merrick Garland, was blocked by Senate Republicans for almost a year and never given a hearing, as well as the rushed confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, just before last November's election.

Barrett's confirmation last fall cemented the Supreme Court's conservative majority, with six justices appointed by Republicans, and three by Democrats.

The Judiciary Act of 2021 has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and in the House by Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Reps.

"We have a stilted, illegitimate 6-3 conservative majority on the court that has caused this crisis of confidence in our country", Markey said.

That anger has taken hold within the Democratic Party, and this new push indicates that it has not dissipated in an era where the party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress. "Progressives understand we can not afford to wait six months for an academic study to tell us what we already know: the Supreme Court is broken and in need of reform", Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon said in a statement.

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Nadler voiced hope that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would soon embrace the idea of expansion.

It's not clear that Democrats would be able to do this as there are bound to be numerous defections in the Senate, maybe even in the House. but the fact that Democrats are seriously considering it is shocking enough. Meanwhile, Republicans are against "packing the court" and have warned the move would be a direct assault on the nation's independent judiciary.

Nadler argued that 13 is a "proper number" of justices because it matches the number of federal appellate circuits.

Unsurprisingly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on April 13 said the Democrats' attempt to spin unrelated infrastructure items into an infrastructure bill was a tactic to change the English language.

He added that he hoped additional justices would allow the Supreme Court to hear more cases in a given term.

"Our task now is to build a grassroots movement that puts pressure on every Democrat in Congress to support this legislation because it is the only way to restore balance to the Court and protect our democracy", Fallon said. "From the insurrection at the Capitol to the racist voter suppression being attended all throughout the United States of America, the far right is at war with our democracy".

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