Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday urged the expansion of the Supreme Court with more justices, while taking aim at the “gravity of the Republican hijacking” of the court.
In an op-ed published in the Boston Globe, Warren points to conservative justices’ threat to gut Roe v. Wade as one example of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority issuing decisions for years that “veer away from both basic principles of law and widely held public opinion.”
“With each move, the court shows why it’s important to restore America’s faith in an independent judiciary committed to the rule of law,” Warren wrote. “To do that, I believe it’s time for Congress to yet again use its constitutional authority to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court.”
Warren wrote that she did not “come to this conclusion lightly” due to disagreeing with a particular decision, but rather it has to do with her belief that the current court “threatens the democratic foundations of our nation.”
Warren also argued that the issues she has with today’s court go further than ethical abuses, which she attributed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) having “hijacked” the Supreme Court.
“First, in 2016, he engineered the theft of one seat, breaking from longstanding precedent by denying even a hearing to President Obama’s highly qualified nominee,” Warren wrote. “Four years later, he reached new heights of hypocrisy when he reversed direction — breaking his own “rule” barring votes on justices in an election year — to ram through the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett only days before President Biden’s election.”
Warren wrote that instead of trying to restore Americans’ confidence in an independent judiciary, it “leans into extremism and partisanship.” Warren then warned that without reform, the court’s 6-3 conservative supermajority will “continue to threaten basic liberties” for decades to come.
Warren’s stated support for expanding the Supreme Court that is made up of nine justices comes days after the high court ruled that abortion providers in Texas can sue certain state officials to preemptively block the state’s six-week abortion ban. However, the law will stay in effect for now.
In a draft final report by a commission set up by President Biden to explore changes to the Supreme Court released earlier this month, it concluded hat there was “profound” disagreement over whether to add more seats to the bench, but suggested more consensus for term limits for the justices without taking a final position on the issue.
In addition to Warren, other Democrats have expressed support for expanding the Supreme Court, with a bill introduced earlier this year to expand the high court from nine to 13 justices. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to bring the expansion bill up for a vote.