Several Democrats in the Senate delivered an ominous warning to the Supreme Court in a case brief regarding a gun law in New York City.
In a case brief filed on Monday, five Senate Democrats — Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — wrote that the Supreme Court was “not well” and needed to be “heal[ed]” before “the public” demands the institution be “restructured.”
The group of senators also brought up rulings by the court, where there is a 5-4 conservative majority.
“The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” the brief said. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”
The senators quoted a Quinnipiac poll in May that found 55 percent of Americans thought that the Supreme Court was mainly motivated by politics. The same poll found 51 percent of Americans were in favor of restructuring the Supreme Court.
The case the briefing accompanied was New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York and dealt with the legal limitations on where unloaded, locked, and licensed firearms can be taken by gun owners.
An overhaul of the Supreme Court has taken its place among the policy proposals for many of the prominent Democratic presidential primary candidates.
As IJR Red previously reported, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.) proposed that he wanted as many as 15 justices on the bench and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) gave his support to an 18-year term limit proposal.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said that she was “absolutely open” to a dialogue on packing the court. She was joined on this idea by Gillibrand as well as Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
The idea of packing the court did not strike a chord with current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who trashed it as a “bad idea” and that she was “not at all in favor of that solution to what I see as a temporary situation” during an interview with NPR.
Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — the self-described “Grim Reaper” of progressive policies in the upper chamber — blasted the talk of packing the courts as being from “out of the ash heap of history.”