(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- A liberal Supreme Court justice came out against court packing this week, dealing a potential huge blow to progressive Democrats who want to stack the court with more of their appointees.
On Tuesday, Justice Stephen Breyer said he wasn’t in favor of making any big changes to the Supreme Court. This includes expanding the number of justices who serve on the high court.
To those who are pushing for this court packing, Breyer said they should think “long and hard” about what they’re actually proposing to do.
Breyer made these comments as part of a prepared remote speech he gave on Tuesday to faculty, alumni and students of Harvard Law School. He said the reasoning behind his comments is that change at the Supreme Court that was driven by political motivations could end up diminishing Americans’ trust in the high court.
The talk he was giving “seeks to make those whose initial instincts may favor important structural (or other similar institutional) changes, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before embodying those changes in law,” he said.
Breyer is an alumnus and Harvard Law School and once taught at the school. He’s the oldest justice on the Supreme Court, at 82 years old. He was confirmed to the high court on August 3, 1994, receiving his nomination months earlier under then-President Bill Clinton.
Currently, the Supreme Court is made up of six justices appointed under Republican presidents, with only three appointed under Democratic presidents. Even though Chief Justice John Roberts sometimes sides with liberals on major issues, that still leaves a 5-4 conservative majority in many cases that the justices stick to their party lines.
This has led many liberals to fear for the future of the country, because of what they think the Supreme Court could end up doing on major court cases regarding topics such as abortion or health care.
Their response is that the Supreme Court should expand to add more justices. Since President Joe Biden is a Democrat — and since Democrats have a narrow margin in the Senate — he would have free reign on nominating liberal justices to fill those seats.
Some progressive liberals are saying that this move needs to happen quickly, too. That’s because Democrats only hold a technical majority in the Senate, which is split 50-50.
For now, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can easily bring Biden’s nominees to the floor for confirmation. But if Democrats lose their slim Senate majority in the 2022 midterm elections, that could change.
There are talks that Breyer may soon retire. Some people have even suggested that it could happen by the summer. If that happens, Biden will have at least one chance to nominate a liberal replacement to the court.
Politico concluded that Breyer’s speech sounded a little like a farewell speech, possibly giving more insight into his potential future plans.
Breyer said he has the utmost trust in the Supreme Court justices, regardless of which president nominated them to the bench. He said that despite the conservative majority, the current court has sided with abortion clinics, given legal protections for immigrants and stayed out of the 2020 presidential election debate.
As he explained:
“These considerations convince me that it is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution.”