President Joe Biden reportedly still opposes adding more Supreme Court justices to neutralize appointments made by former President Donald Trump.
“So, I know I was asked this question yesterday, and I’ve been asked it before — and I think the president himself … about expanding the court,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Saturday. “That is something that the president does not agree with. That is not something that he wants to do.”
The press secretary made her remarks to reporters during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, according to a Fox News report.
A number of Democrats have argued for expanding the court to offset the influence of the three justices Trump appointed.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also demanded during an ABC News Sunday TV broadcast that President Biden add more justices to the high Court.
“This court has lost legitimacy,” she exclaimed. “They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision.”
“They just took the last of it and set a torch to it,” she added. “I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court.”
Her call for drastic steps to counter conservative justices is not new and her voice was not raised in anger alone.
“There is no other recourse,” tweeted Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., last month after Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion on a Mississippi abortion case was leaked. “We must expand the court.”
Markey has proposed packing the court before. He was a sponsor of a January 2021 bill to increase the number of Supreme Court justices from 9 to 13. Court packing appeals to Democrats because they perceive the historical threat made by Franklin Roosevelt budged court decisions.
Then-President Roosevelt threatened to expand the number of justices because the Supreme Court kept ruling his New Deal policies unconstitutional. After the threat, one justice did change his vote before the court packing scheme was defeated in Congress. The result of the power play seems plain to Democrats, though, eager to remove a stumbling block to a progressive agenda.
One of the reasons the proposed bill didn’t gain much traction was Biden’s announced opposition to the idea.
“I’m not a fan of court packing,” the president said during a campaign interview in Cincinnati, Ohio. He recently said the abortion ball is in Congress’s “court” now.
“Let me be very clear and unambiguous,” the president remarked Friday during a White House briefing. “The only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose and the balance that existed is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law.”