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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 WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump sued by Democrat over mob attack on Capitol Harris speaks with Netanyahu amid ICC probe Senate votes to take up COVID-19 relief bill MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate Dems face unity test; Tanden nomination falls 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 GarlandBiden's justice reform should influence prosecutor appointments Politics in the Department of Justice can be a good thing What's worse, violence on the left or the right? It's a dangerous question MORE from the court.

After President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food 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 KavanaughJustices hear sparring over scope of safeguards for minority voters Supreme Court faces landmark challenge on voting rights Will 'Cover-up Cuomo' be marching to 'Jail to the Chief'? 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 HironoOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine 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.