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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Elizabeth Warren calls for at least four more seats on Supreme Court

Senator Elizabeth Warren called for Congress to add at least four seats to the Supreme Court in an op-ed published in The <em>Boston Globe</em> on Thursday.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who was previously a professor at Harvard Law School, said the Supreme Court’s hinting that it could overturn Roe v Wade and therefore severely restrict abortion rights spurred her into supporting expanding the court.

“I don’t come to this conclusion lightly or because I disagree with a particular decision; I come to this conclusion because I believe the current court threatens the democratic foundations of our nation,” Sen Warren wrote.

Sen Warren had previously expressed openness to packing the court during her failed presidential run but did not explicitly endorse it.

“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” she said in 2019, Politico reported at the time. “It’s a conversation that’s worth having.”

But in her op-ed, Sen Warren noted how then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked then-President Barack Obama’s nominee from even receiving a hearing and then reversed course after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Along with abortion rights, Sen Warren specifically criticised the court for potentially nullifying the ability of states and cities to regulate guns and whether to weaken the federal government’s ability to combat climate change.

“The fact that the Supreme Court is even considering questions to upend decades of settled law jeopardizes the fundamental principle of the rule of law,” she said. “But conservative justices’ recent decisions and their apparent appetite to overturn decades of precedent underscore one important truth: This court’s lawlessness is a powerful threat to our democracy and our country.”

In response, Sen Warren said she would support expanding the court by four or more seats and addressed accusations that such an action amounted to “court-packing,” which could undermine the court’s integrity.

“They are wrong. And their concerns do not reflect the gravity of the Republican hijacking of the Supreme Court,” she said, accusing Sen McConnell and Mr Trump of playing politics with the court and holding a seat open for more than a year.

“Second, adding seats to the Supreme Court may be one of the few ways to deescalate the arms race around the court,” she said. “If we stand by while the highest court in our land bows to special interests and destroys the long-acknowledged rights of individuals, we reward those who broke the rules in the first place, encouraging bad actors to further corrupt the court without any consequences.”

Sen Warren’s fellow Massachusetts Sen Ed Markey introduced legislation earlier this year to add four more justices and Democratic Sen Tina Smith of Minnesota joined Mr Markey’s


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