Congressional Progressive Caucus Backs Supreme Court Expansion By Democrats

( )- The Congressional Progressive Caucus is pushing to expand the Supreme Court, and they’ve put forth a new bill that would do exactly that.

On Wednesday, the Caucus endorsed a new bill called the Judiciary Act of 2021 that would expand the seats on the high court from its current number of nine to 13. Those in favor of the bill believe that it would bring some balance back to the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 majority that’s currently held by conservatives.

Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said their group believes the “urgent work to restore American democracy” has to involve adding seats to the Supreme Court.

She further labeled the current bench as “filled by a partisan, right-wing effort to entrench a radical, anti-democratic faction and erode human rights that have been won over decades.”

Former President Donald Trump had the unique opportunity to reshape the Supreme Court. During his four years in the White House, he nominated and confirmed three new conservative justices — Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

This trio gave conservatives the strong majority they have on the bench now, which is what angers and worries progressives. As Jayapal said in a statement the Caucus released:

“n recent years, this court has gutted the Voting Rights Act and public sector unions, entrenched unconstitutional abortion bans, and failed to overturn the blatantly discriminatory Muslim Ban,” alluding to the travel ban Trump instituted on many Muslim-majority countries.

“As a co-equal governing body, Congress cannot sit by while this attack on the constitution continues unchecked. I am proud that our Caucus is joining the fight to expand the court and restore balance to the bench.”

Democrats in the House first introduced this bill back in April of 2021. It was a bill that was many years in the making, as liberals have been upset with conservatives over how they’ve approached the Supreme Court in recent years.

In 2016, Republicans who were in the majority in the Senate blocked the nominations by then-President Barack Obama to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia only because it was during an election year. That seat was eventually filled during the Trump presidency.

Then, the anger got worse when in the 2020 election year, Republicans did the opposite of what they had four years earlier — they rushed through the nomination and confirmation of Barrett so she could get named to the bench before the election, which Trump eventually lost.

A bipartisan presidential commission studied the effects of expanding the Supreme Court last summer, and their results were divided.

They said that there were “considerable” risks to increasing the justices who sit on the Supreme Court, which they said could undermine the court’s legitimacy.

But, progressives have continued to push forward. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, wrote an op-ed last month that said she wanted to increase the number of justices on the high court by four at the least.

If that were to be done under the Biden administration — and with potentially a Democratic majority in the Senate — liberals could again tilt the majority to their side.