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 WarrenMSNBC's Chris Matthews confuses South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate with GOP's Tim Scott Trump surveys South Carolina supporters on preferred Democratic opponent Watch live: Trump holds a rally in South Carolina MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Bloomberg campaign lobbied Yang for endorsement, possible VP offer: report Biden looks to shore up lead in SC MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives 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 GarlandDC wine bar loses appeal in lawsuit against Trump hotel Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate The Trumpification of the federal courts MORE from the court.

After President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump endorses former White House physician Ronny Jackson for Congress Newly released emails reveal officials' panic over loss of credibility after Trump's Dorian claims Lindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans 'never-ending bull----' at South Carolina rally  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 KavanaughLindsey Graham thanks Trump, bemoans 'never-ending bull----' at South Carolina rally  70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Justices bar Mexican parents from suing over fatal cross-border shooting of teen 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 HironoDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign What the impeachment vote looked like from inside the chamber 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.