Democratic House Whip Rep. James Clyburn said Wednesday that he believes the Supreme Court of the United States is being remade into “a throwback” to one that provided legal sanction to segregation.
“I know what the Supreme Court was like during Plessy v. Ferguson. And I think that this court that we see developing now is a throwback to Plessy v. Ferguson and even Dred Scott,” Clyburn told CNN’s “Newsroom,” in reference to an 1857 decision by Chief Justice Roger Taney that denied black Americans equality with white Americans and protected the Fugitive Slave Act.
When asked about whether he supports packing the Supreme Court during a future Democratic administration, Clyburn said, “I think the Supreme Court is being packed now,” in an apparent reference to the Republican-controlled Senate proceeding with the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, nominated last month by President Donald Trump. (RELATED: Trump ‘Doesn’t Plan To Have Fair And Unfettered Election … Plans To Install Himself In Some Emergency Way,’ Says Rep. Clyburn)
“I think we need to unpack the Supreme Court. There needs to be balance in the Supreme Court. You know, I know what the Supreme Court was like during the Dred Scott decision.”
The Democratic South Carolina representative also declared his disapproval for the Shelby v. Holder decision that affected the Voting Rights Act, calling that “the worst decision of the Supreme Court since Dred Scott” and claiming that it subjected “people of color” to “a massive suppress-the-vote effort.”
Clyburn has been a staunch critic of the Trump administration. He was not impressed with record low levels for black unemployment, saying a higher percentage of black Americans were employed during slavery.(RELATED: Rep. Clyburn Wants DNC To Cancel Future Debates)
The influential congressman endorsed then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden before the South Carolina primary when some analysts had declared the former vice president’s campaign a failure. Biden won the primary and went on to win the nomination, prompting long time Democratic strategist James Carville to say that Clyburn “literally saved the Democratic Party.”
Barrett declared her support for full racial equality under the law during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.