Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said Sunday that, while he’s not necessarily a fan of court packing, he’s open to the idea if Republicans are able to confirm Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Coons told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he still held out hope that enough Republicans would “step back from this precipice” and vote against Barrett’s confirmation. (RELATED: ‘You’re Not Being Straight With Me’: Chris Wallace Challenges Chris Coons For Changing The Definition Of Court Packing)
Tapper began the segment by asking Coons whether he agreed with some of the critics who have called for Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to step down as ranking member of the judiciary committee. Coons said that he felt Feinstein had done a good job presenting the Democrats’ case against Barrett, and that he saw no reason to replace her.
“If Barrett is confirmed and Democrats win back the Senate would you vote to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court if it came up for a vote? Is that something you would be in favor of?” Tapper continued.
“Well Jake, like Joe Biden, I’m not a fan of expanding the court,” Coons replied. “We have a few weeks here to see whether there are four Republicans who will step back from this precipice.”
Coons went on to claim that President Donald Trump had nominated Barrett for the express purpose of overturning the Affordable Care Act. (RELATED: Hot Mic Reportedly Catches Dianne Feinstein Comment About Amy Coney Barrett’s Religion)
“It is the Republican majority that’s responsible for racing forward with this extreme unqualified nominee, unqualified because of her extreme judicial philosophy and that is who should be bearing the brunt at the ballot box in this election,” Coons continued. “We need to focus on that and then if we happen to be in the fact pattern where we have a President Biden we’ll have to look at what the right steps are to rebalance our federal judiciary.”
“Your mind is open about adding justices to the Supreme Court? Yes or no? Your mind is open?” Tapper pressed.
“Yes,” Coons said.