House Dems’ Support for SCOTUS Expansion Grows After Abortion-Opinion Leak

The Judiciary Act of 2021, which would increase the number of Supreme Court justices from nine to 13, is apparently gathering steam among House Democrats.

Last week’s leak of an initial majority draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, a yet-to-be-completed decision that could eventually lead to a reversal of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973, has reportedly motivated House Democrats to push harder for High Court expansion.

According to The Hill, Reps. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., Nanette Diaz Barragán, D-Calif., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., and Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., have added their names to the ‘Judicial Act’ legislation, bringing the sponsors total to at least 56.

The bill was introduced in April 2021 by Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y.

The pace of Democrat  sponsorships reportedly slowed around the end of 2021, but saw a burst of interest following last week’s leaked draft opinion involving Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could possibly overturn abortion rights in America.

It’s worth noting: Eight days have passed since the Alito leak went national — setting off a firestorm reaction from both sides of the abortion argument — but the leaker has yet to be identified.

Either way, the House Democrats are apparently laser-focused on expanding the Supreme Court, while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has already promised a Senate vote for legislation that, if successful, would enshrine abortion rights into federal law.

“The draft decision from the Supreme Court on Roe is deeply concerning and Congress must now use every tool at our disposal to protect a woman’s right to choose,” said Rep. DeSaulnier in a statement.

“As the Supreme Court has become increasingly partisan and extremist, now more than ever we must expand the Court to preserve democracy and the personal liberties of millions of Americans, including the right to make one’s own health care decisions.”

The Supreme Court currently has six justices chosen by Republican presidents (Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett), and three justices from Democrat presidents (Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Stephen Breyer).

Recently confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will succeed the retiring Justice Breyer sometime this year.

Court-expansion advocates, particularly those who lean left politically, may still be smarting from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016, due to President Barack Obama being in his final year at the White House, and the Republicans controlling the U.S. Senate chamber at the time.

On the flip side, the conservatives’ present 6-3 advantage could become even larger in the coming years — in the event of raising the justice count to 13 — if Republicans overtake the Senate in the upcoming November midterm elections.

Hence, the supposed urgency of packing the court now with hand-picked justices, courtesy of Democrat President Joe Biden.

Last year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., distanced herself from the court-expansion proposal, saying she had “no plans” to bring it to the House floor.

At the time, she supported a commission to study the issue. 

With the new additions, however, the measure now has support from roughly a quarter of the House Democratic Caucus.

According to The Hill, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., leads sister legislation to the Judiciary Act of 2021 in the Senate, but it has not captured the same wave of fresh support in the aftermath of the Alito leak.

An April 2021 Politico-Morning Consult poll found that only 26% of voters favored Supreme Court expansion, with 46% preferring the number of justices remain at nine. 

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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