Last weekend, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that President Joe Biden is still opposed to the court’s idea after the United States Supreme Court’s controversial ruling on abortion.
“So I know I… was asked this question yesterday, and I’ve been asked before — and I think the President himself… about the extension of the court,” Jean-Pierre said. “That’s something the president doesn’t agree with. That’s not something he wants to do.”
The court’s down-to-earth approach puts the president at odds with many leaders in his party, who have used absurdly sharp rhetoric to attack the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.
“This court has lost its legitimacy,” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told ABC News. “They burned the legitimacy they had after their gun decision, after their vote, after their union decision, and that means we need more judges on the United States Supreme Court.”
This rhetoric echoed that of Warren’s fellow Senator Ed Markey, who tweeted, “Again, I ask my Senate colleagues what other legal outrage we must endure from the illegitimate far-right majority in the Supreme Court before we act? Fight back and expand the Court now.”
First, it must be said that the Supreme Court is perfectly legitimate. It is shameful for Democratic politicians to hypocritically attack the legitimacy of an American institution while denouncing President Trump’s attacks on American institutions.
Just because they disagree with how an institution works doesn’t mean it’s illegal. All judges are legally appointed by former presidents and approved by the Senate. That’s how our system of government works and that’s what happened.
Second, their favorite remedy for packing the courts is an absurdly short-sighted remedy that will only encourage greater partiality towards the nature of the court.
“If anything would make the court seem partisan, it is,” said the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2019. “One side says that when we are in power, we will increase the number of judges, more people who vote like we want that, so I’m not at all in favor of that solution for what I see as a temporary situation.”
Similarly, Judge Stephen Breyer warned last year that structural changes in the courts seen as motivated by partisan interests would only erode public confidence in the courts and that expansion would undermine the authority of the courts.
“If the public sees judges as politicians in robes, its confidence in the courts — and in the rule of law itself — can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a check on other branches, ” he said.
Understandably, many Americans disagree with some of the Supreme Court’s rulings.
This will always be the case, as long as the judge has to rule on substantive matters. But that doesn’t justify changing the institution of the court and treating it as just an extension of the more explicit political branches.
— Orange County Register/Tribune News Service