Rubio to introduce legislation to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats

Rubio to introduce legislation to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats
© Stefani Reynolds
Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems plot aggressive post-Mueller moves, beginning with McGahn Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail MORE (R-Fla.) said Wednesday he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment to limit the Supreme Court to nine justices after some Democrats have floated expanding the number of seats on the high court.
 
"To prevent the delegitimizing of the Supreme Court, I will introduce a constitutional amendment to keep the number of seats at nine," Rubio wrote in a Fox News op-ed published Wednesday.
 
"There is nothing magical about the number nine. It is not inherently right just because the number of seats on the Supreme Court remains unchanged since 1869. But there is something inherently good and important about preventing the further destabilization of essential institutions," Rubio added.
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The proposal comes as several Democratic White House contenders, including a handful that are Rubio's Senate colleagues, have expressed an openness to expanding the Supreme Court or enacting other judicial reforms, including term limits. 
 
Both Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Minorities, older adults push Biden to top of 2020 poll The difference between good and bad tax reform MORE (D-Mass.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? K Street support to test Buttigieg MORE (D-Calif.) have said expanding, or "packing," the court should be an option on the table as part of a larger conversation among Democrats about the direction of the U.S. judicial system.
 
 
Supporters argue that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE and congressional Republicans have been able to pack the courts with conservative judges, including two Supreme Court justices and dozens of appeals court nominees. Republicans also nixed the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court justices in 2017 in order to confirm Trump's first pick for the high court, Neil Gorsuch.
 
But Republicans have lashed out at the talk of expanding the Supreme Court, arguing that it's another sign of the Democratic Party's shift to the left ahead of the 2020 election. 
 
In the lower chamber, Rep. Mark GreenMark GreenAfrica's women can change a continent: Will Ivanka give them her full support? Republicans call for ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be referred to DOJ Finally united, House Republicans refer ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for perjury prosecution MORE (R-Tenn.) said Tuesday that he would also introduce a constitutional amendment to maintain the current nine seats, though his proposal is unlikely to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled House.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration Biden and Bernie set for clash MORE (R-Ky.) hasn't weighed in on the current Supreme Court fight, or the prospects that he would bring legislation on the issue up for a vote.
 
But GOP senators have been willing to use the chamber to try to drive a wedge between Democratic lawmakers and their progressive base ahead of 2020, with McConnell forcing a vote on the Green New Deal next week. 
 
Rubio added in the Fox News op-ed that trying to expand the courts had become a "litmus test" for White House hopefuls and stemmed from an "ugly, winner-take-all rhetoric" among progressives. 

"We are suffering a crisis of confidence and we cannot withstand further erosion of trust in one another and our institutions. The rhetoric used by some of my Democratic colleagues that suggests our institutions are increasingly unable to resolve modern society’s conflicts is dangerous," he added.