Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday that packing the courts and abolishing the Senate filibuster is “about contempt for voters” and “would be a huge mistake.”
Though Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden came out against court packing in August 2019, the issue again enjoyed center stage when he refused to take a stand in either direction, instead claiming his position would “be the issue.”
Democrats like vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have expressed an interest in the idea of late, particularly as a countermeasure to a Republican-led Senate looking to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
After playing the debate exchange between Biden and Trump on court packing on “The Story,” Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum asked Hawley for his thoughts.
“First of all, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Hawley responded. “The vice president should answer the question, but here’s the deal, Martha. At the end of the day this court packing scheme is about contempt for the voters. It’s about the fact that the Democrats have still not accepted the 2016 election results and I guess haven’t accepted the 2018 election results when the American people sent more Republican senators back to Washington.”
“I mean, the truth is Republicans won those elections and court packing is all about undoing the results of those elections,” he continued. “It’s basically saying, ‘we don’t like what voters did in those elections, so we will just add more justices to drown out those results until we can get a court we can control.’ That would be a huge mistake.”
Responding to a question from MacCallum about what things would be like if Democrats succeed in court packing, the Missouri senator said they would in effect “change results, change decisions, change the ruling and the whole composition of the court.”
“It really is, again, it’s about contempt for voters,” he said. “It’s saying we don’t like how you voted in 2016 and 2018 so we’ll just put more justices on the court to basically undo the results of those elections. We don’t like the fact that Donald Trump got the chance to appoint three Supreme Court justices so we’ll add three more. Who knows what the number would be and as you can see Martha, there’s no end in sight. Once you start this, we could have 30 justices on the Supreme Court, it’ll never stop.” (RELATED: ‘That’s The Clean Technique’: Ari Fleischer Uses Whiteboard To Offer Trump Three Points Of Debate Advice)
Hawley went on to explain that eliminating the Senate filibuster would essentially “take away the right of any senator to be heard, take away the right of the minority to be heard,” and “take away rights of debate and deliberation.”
“There’s a lot of problems with the Senate, I will give you that,” said Hawley. “The Senate needs a lot of reform but turning it into a mini version of the House is a big mistake.”