Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court

Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court
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Three Democratic presidential candidates are saying they’re willing to consider adding justices to the Supreme Court as a response to the Senate GOP’s refusal to consider former President Obama’s last pick for the court.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders on difference with Warren: she's a capitalist 'I'm not' Rubio hits Warren's 'crude' and 'vulgar' response to opposition to same-sex marriage Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKlobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes MORE (N.Y.) all told Politico that they were willing to at least consider packing the courts, something liberal groups are increasingly suggesting.

“We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court,” Harris told Politico. “We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.”

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Warren said adding justices to the Supreme Court deserves consideration, as does bringing appellate judges into Supreme Court cases. “It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” she told Politico.

Democrats have been up in arms over the Republican Senate majority’s decision to block Obama nominee Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandSupreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems seize on Ukraine transcript in impeachment fight Brett Kavanaugh debate exemplifies culture war between left and right MORE from the court.

After President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE was elected, the GOP Senate also ended the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, which led to the confirmation of two justices picked by Trump.

Those picks are expected to tilt the court to the right given Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court can prove its independence — or its partisan capture Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Planned Parenthood plans M campaign for 2020 | Dem candidates embrace aggressive step on drug prices | Officials propose changes to encourage 'value-based' care Bans on public coverage for abortion are unjustified by science and outright harmful MORE’s confirmation to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Politico reported that Gillibrand said she also would not rule out adding justices to the Supreme Court, and that she called for the Senate to impose stringent ethics rules for justices.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) floated the idea of expanding the court last week, along with term limits for current justices.

“What if there were five justices selected by Democrats, five justices selected by Republicans and those 10 then pick five more justices independent of those who picked the first 10,” O’Rourke, who announced his presidential bid last week, said in Iowa on Thursday. “I think that’s an idea we should explore.”

Non-candidates have expressed support for the idea as well. “The court should not be a court that you can figure out who the Republican judges are and who aren’t,” Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Overnight Energy: Top Interior lawyer accused of lying to Congress confirmed | Senate set to deny funding for BLM move | EPA threatens to cut California highway funds MORE (D-Hawaii) told the publication.

The idea of adding justices to the court is increasingly popular with grass-roots and advocacy groups.

Pack the Courts, launched in October, has raised $500,000 and plans to spend $2 million leading up to the 2020 presidential campaign to make the issue central to the election.