Court-packing advocate says GOP has 'chastened' Dems from being stronger on Supreme Court picks

Court-packing advocate Kate Kendell told Hill.TV's "Rising" that Republicans have "chastened" Democrats from being stronger on issues, such as appointing liberal judges and justices to U.S. courts.

“It’s clear that GOP retaliation has chastened, I think, many Democrats from being as strong and as bold as we need to be,” Kendell, campaign manager of the left-leaning group Pack the Courts, told hosts Krystal Ball and Shermichael Singleton. 

Pack the Courts is calling for expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court and lower federal courts to allow the appointment of more liberal judges and justices during the Trump administration. 

Trump and Republicans, meanwhile, have campaigned on the promise of filling the Supreme Court and U.S. courts with conservative judges and justices. 

In his first two years in office, Trump acted on that promise by appointing two conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughNikki Haley hires Heritage Action chief to run her policy group Susan Collins in statistical tie with Democratic challenger: poll A disgraced Senate and president have no business confirming judges MORE, to the high court. 

A growing number of Democrats, including 2020 hopefuls, have warmed to the idea of allowing more seats on the high court in order to make space for liberal appointees. 

“We're in a situation where the House is burning down, and if we want to save the structure at all, we can’t just stand on the sidewalk and wring our hands and cry tears that our house is burning down,” Kendell continued. 

“We have to run in, do what we can, grab the firehoses, make sure the neighbors all get together, and try to put out the fire,” she said.

“So yes, down the road, we’ll have to deal with what it means to live in a democracy, and how do we best protect that democracy,” she said. “But I think once we ignite this conversation, it won’t be permissible for this to be a tit for tat, and this is not retaliation for what the Republicans have done. This is a recognition of what they have done, and the fact that this court has been made destabilized and illegitimate, and we want to restore that legitimacy.”

— Julia Manchester