Senate Democrats Throw Cold Water On Court-Packing Bill

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Multiple Senate Democrats suggested that they would not have the votes to pass legislation increasing the size of the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, Politico reported Monday.

“This is in the category of things that couldn’t muster 50 votes and probably couldn’t muster 40 votes,” Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz told Politico.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced the court-packing bill on April 15.

“I don’t think the American public is interested in having the Supreme Court expanded,” Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who ran for president in 2020, said.

Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly said he believes that “the more responsible thing to do is to keep it at nine justices.” Kelly previously said that he would not vote to add seats to the Supreme Court even if Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Democratic Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto opposed “adding seats that politicize the court.”

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown downplayed the salience of the issue, claiming to be “focused on Covid and infrastructure.”

Nadler defended the legislation as “unpacking” the Court during a press conference announcing the bill. “Sen. McConnell and Republicans packed the court over the last couple of years as Sen. Markey outlined. This is a reaction to that,” he said.

President Joe Biden established a commission to study court-packing on April 9. The White House said it will wait for the commission to return a recommendation before it supports any proposals. (RELATED: Sen. Mike Lee Uses Joe Biden’s Own Words Against Him In Battle Over Supreme Court Packing)

A plurality of Americans opposes packing the Supreme Court, a number that has not changed since the 2020 election.