Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) said legislation to pack the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13 is necessary because Republicans “broke” the Court through legitimate appointments.
“Make no mistake about it,” Markey began, “the Court is broken because Leader Mitch McConnell and his Senate Republican colleagues and Donald Trump broke it.”
Markey pointed to the slight 5-4 conservative “majority on the Court that has caused this crisis of confidence in our country. The Republicans stole two seats on the Supreme Court, and now it is up to us to repair that damage,” he reiterated.
“Our democracy is in jeopardy today because the Supreme Court standing is sorely damaged. The way we repair it is straightforward,” Markey said. “We can undo the damage that the Republicans have done by restoring balance. And we do it by adding four seats to the Court to create a 13-member Supreme Court.”
Markey also acknowledged the Democrats must terminate the filibuster to achieve a Court realignment. “We must expand the court, and we must abolish the filibuster to do it,” Markey said.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who also joined Markey, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), said, “I’m glad to join my colleagues in introducing the Judiciary Act of 2021 to establish the Supreme Court size as 13.”
“It’s a nice number,” Nadler added. “Senator McConnell and Republicans packed the Court over the last couple of years as Senator Markey outlined.”
Nadler lastly noted there is no timeline for the bill to be processed through the House.
According to the Congressional Research Service, while Congress has expanded the federal courts based on caseload in line with the Constitution, “some contend that expanding the Court with the intent to shape the Court’s composition and obtain more favorable case outcomes [for the president] may raise constitutional questions.”