Several 2020 Democrats announced that they would consider adding justices to the Supreme Court if they were elected president in 2020, embracing their inner Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The New York Times asked 21 of the 23 Democrats — with former Vice President Joe Biden noticeably missing — if they would support expanding the Supreme Court and several said they are considering adding some justices or reforming the way the court operates today.
As IJR previously reported, some candidates, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) have already announced their plans to change the Supreme Court.
Buttigieg wants to see as many as 15 justices on the Supreme Court, with five of the justices being chosen by the ten appointed justices. O’Rourke is less extreme in his changes to the court, opting to just place an 18-year term limit on justices so there would be a more rapid turnover.
In their interview with the New York Times, several other candidates voiced their support for changes to the highest court in the land.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she’s “absolutely open” to the conversation of adding more justices. Several others said they, like Harris, would consider adding justices, including entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Congressman Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) made it clear that his motivation for stacking the courts was purely political. He noted that he would want to expand the number of justices if it meant that the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortions would be protected.
“I’m open to any idea that can make sure a woman’s right of choice is protected, including a civil rights law by statute that would protect a women’s right of choice,” Inslee said.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opposed any changes to the Supreme Court justice count, highlighting the weakness in Inslee’s argument by saying, “Packing the courts is a great idea when you’re in power, not such a great idea when your political opponents are in power.”