Former Attorney General Eric Holder has suggested to his fellow Democrats that one way to put their stamp on American history, especially in light of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's and President Trump's agenda, is to expand the Supreme Court. He made the farfetched proposal last week at Yale Law School and Columbia University.
"Given the Merrick Garland situation, the question of legitimacy is one that I think we should actually talk about," Holder said. "We should be talking even about expanding the number of people who serve on the Supreme Court, if there is a Democratic President and a Congress that might be willing to do that.”
Holder is one of many Democrats still sour about McConnell's decision to hold up Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland for months after Justice Antonin Scalia's death. McConnell's hardline paved the way for President Trump to nominate and confirm his own justice, Neil Gorsuch. He confirmed another, Brett Kavanaugh, after that. So it's obvious why Democrats are starting to bite their fingernails.
Yet, is Holder's proposal a bridge too far? Not according to a few 2020 presidential candidates. Both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have suggested they could support it. Buttigieg said he got the idea from the Yale Law Journal and thought it made sense because it would show the American people that the Supreme Court is not a "political institution."
One idea that should be at least reviewed, he said, is increasing the number of justices from nine to 15 and perhaps rotating justices to the high court from the appellate level.
He said he finds “most intriguing” a structure in which five justices are appointed by Democratic presidents, five are appointed by Republican presidents, and then those 10 justices must unanimously agree on appointing the five additional justices, who would come from the appellate bench. (WMUR)
Buttigieg is not one for political tradition. He has also promoted abolishing the Electoral College.
“I just believe that the nation would be better served if the person who wins the most votes wins the election.”
In the Wall Street Journal editorial that cast a spotlight on the Democrats' "Black Robe New Deal," the editors surmise why progressives are suddenly so urgent "to violate democratic and judicial norms."
"Having dominated courts for decades, progressives can’t abide that the highest Court might no longer be an engine of progressive policy," the editorial board writes. "Donald Trump’s determination to nominate highly qualified and principled judicial conservatives has heightened their panic."