Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that the Supreme Court should add seats to its nine-member bench despite a recent report from President Joe Biden's bipartisan commission on court reform signaling strong "disagreement" on such a move.
Democrats have floated the idea since President Donald Trump selected three members for the court, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority. Warren, a onetime Harvard Law professor, made her position clear in an op-ed for the Boston Globe.
"I don’t come to this conclusion lightly or because I disagree with a particular decision; I come to this conclusion because I believe the current court threatens the democratic foundations of our nation," Warren wrote, referencing current items on the conservative-majority court's docket that could put landmark cases in jeopardy, such as the 1973 ruling on Roe v. Wade that established a woman's right to have an abortion.
The Massachusetts senator's remarks come a little more than a week after Biden's commission on court reform (which had 34 legal experts from both conservative and liberal positions) voted unanimously to send its draft report to the president, which gave more credence to the possibility of imposing term limits for justices than it did to expanding the number of justices.
SUPREME COURT COMMISSION VOTES TO SEND FINAL REPORT TO BIDEN WITH EYE TOWARD JUDICIAL TERM LIMITS
We must expand the Supreme Court. I don’t come to this conclusion lightly or because I disagree with a particular decision; I come to this conclusion because I believe the current court threatens the democratic foundations of our nation. My op-ed: https://t.co/YIJVrzGaWw— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 15, 2021
Warren accused conservatives such as former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of "hijacking" the Supreme Court, arguing that increasing the number of justices would "deescalate the arms race around the court" and adding that avoiding the task would further "corrupt" the court. Despite the commissioners' "profound disagreement" on expanding the court, they did conclude Congress has a wide authority to add more justices to the bench.
"To restore balance and integrity to a broken institution, Congress must expand the Supreme Court by four or more seats," Warren wrote.
"Some oppose the idea of court expansion. They have argued that expansion is ‘court-packing,’ that it would start a never-ending cycle of adding justices to the bench, and that it would undermine the court’s integrity," she added, arguing, "They are wrong."
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Warren's remarks come less than a week after the Supreme Court denied to block a Texas law allowing private citizens to file lawsuits against abortion providers if they perform a procedure after six weeks of viability.
Another case of a 15-week ban on abortions awaits a judicial ruling. Legal analysts say the decision could create a path of significantly weakening or even stripping abortion rights established under the landmark cases Roe and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood.