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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 WarrenBiden risks break with progressives on infrastructure The Memo: The center strikes back Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story A healthier planet and economy is worth fighting for Watch live: Harris gives remarks on the child tax credit MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOur new praetorian guard? Gillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave 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 GarlandAirline groups ask DOJ to help crack down on violent passengers House Judiciary asks DOJ to disclose remaining gag orders The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE from the court.

After President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report 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 rules against NCAA in dispute over student-athlete compensation Overnight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision 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 HironoSenate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Democrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill White House gets back to pre-COVID-19 normality 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.