During this past Sunday’s edition of ABC’s This Week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pushed for the U.S. Supreme Court to be expanded after the court chose last week to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending — for now — the nationally recognized right to an abortion.
Warren said adding Justices to the court would help restore confidence in it. As the Senator put it:
‘I do know this, that the Republicans have been very overt about trying to get people through the court who didn’t have a published record on Roe but who they knew… were going to be extremist on the issue of Roe v. Wade. And that is exactly what we have ended up with. This court has lost legitimacy. They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision. They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wade opinion. I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court, and that means we need more Justices on the United States Supreme Court… It’s happened before. We’ve done it before. We need to do it again.’
Warren would seem to be saying adding Justices to the court could also help restore its legitimacy in the sense of bringing its conclusions back in line with settled precedents, like the right to abortion. Watch some of the Senator’s comments below:
"I believe we need to get some confidence back in our Court, and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court."
— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on expanding the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/piej4dGJ1J
— The Recount (@therecount) June 27, 2022
A comparatively small portion of Americans indicated they had a significant amount of confidence in the Supreme Court in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. “Just 39% said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Supreme Court; 58% said they have not very much or no confidence at all in the institution,” NPR reported. What if those who don’t have confidence in the court and have more incendiary ideas about what could be done with government get into power? Open defiance of the court system has, of course, taken place before in the halls of government, and continuing levels of low confidence could be used as an excuse for a similar thing in the future. A basic level of confidence in the functioning of government should be a given in a system such as that in the U.S., and yet, it’s barely there.
In the poll, most Democrats indicated they were in favor of expanding the Supreme Court, although other political groups — independents and Republicans — mostly opposed it. Overall, just a third of total respondents backed the idea, while 54 percent indicated opposition. The level of support among Democrats reached 62 percent. President Joe Biden is apparently not in favor of the idea.
“I was asked this question yesterday, and I’ve been asked it before… about expanding the Court,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this past Saturday. “That is something that the President does not agree with. That is not something that he wants to do. There was a commission that was put together about how to potentially move forward with the Court — reform the Court. I don’t have anything more to share from any final decision that the President has made.”