Supporters of the court told President Biden’s Supreme Court commission that sitting Supreme Court justices pose a serious threat to democracy in remarks alleging an urgent need to add judges to the bench after former President Donald Trump appointed three during his tenure.
The comments came during a marathon meeting, comprising six panels, examining the Supreme Court appointment process, court makeup and more. Conservatives on those panels, meanwhile, have said it is in fact progressives’ calls to fill the tribunal that will irreparably damage its legitimacy.
The meeting was the third convened by the committee, which is tasked with producing a report for the president later this year on the state of the debate over the US justice system – particularly the Supreme Court – and potential reforms to it. .
Nan Aron, chair of the Progressive Justice Alliance, accused Republicans of hypocrisy for the way they upheld Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, and accused those judges of bias.
“It would be one thing if these judges then turn around and are fair and impartial. However, in many cases of democracy, they have consistently undermined democracy and aided the very party that appointed them,” she said. “Republicans are using this undemocratic, partisan majority in court to cement their own power.”
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Therefore, Aron concluded: “If the court, day after day, continues to bend the law on the side of the rich and powerful… then the only possible conclusion is that reform is imperative.
“Unless there are real reforms of the court, including increasing the number of judges, something completely constitutional and done regularly throughout our history, our system of government and our rights and Legal protections will be eroded for generations, ”Aron said.
Christopher Kang, co-founder and chief counsel of pro-court group Demand Justice, alleged he saw Republicans “steal a Supreme Court seat from President Obama,” and called it “fiction” that there is an “independent judicial body” which should be elevated above politics.
“Our democracy is under attack by this Supreme Court,” Kang said. “So we cannot assess reform proposals under the rubric of whether or not they will preserve this court… We need to expand the Supreme Court.”
The Biden commission also heard testimony from some right-wing voices, including Curt Levey, chairman of the Justice Committee.
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“[Court-packing] is the last thing we need if we value judicial independence and preserving the legitimacy of the court, ”Levey said in written testimony. the other or, more generally, by moving to the left or to the right. “
Levey added in his remarks live at the hearing that he could support a “constitutional amendment that prohibits the accumulation of courts – which would set the number of judges on the court at nine, for example, and take it out of the field. politics “.
Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett, who is due to speak later Tuesday afternoon, will also denounce the lawsuits as something that “would end the independence of the Supreme Court … and destroy the Supreme Court as the protector of our rights and freedoms against majority offense. . “
Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Libertarian Institute, meanwhile, denounced the Supreme Court’s confirmation process as the root cause of the court’s ills, calling it “Kabuki theater”. He suggested ending confirmation of charges hearings and reducing the size of the federal government – and therefore the importance of the Supreme Court.
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“Public hearings have only been around for a century and they weren’t a regular practice until the 1950s, when Dixiecrats used them to denounce Brown v. Board,” Shapiro said. “These days, senators are trying to get candidates to admit that controversial cases are settled law … And that’s before they have any last-minute questions or accusations of sexual misconduct.”
“The fundamental problem is not the politicization of the process, but of the product,” Shapiro added. “The reason we have these heated battles is that the federal government is making too many decisions for such a large, diverse and pluralistic country.”
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