Senate Democrats have revealed that discussions around expanding the Supreme Court are gaining traction following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the EPA ruling.
In the past month, the Supreme Court struck down a 50-year-old precedent giving abortion-access federal protection and limited the EPA’s authority to regulate global warming emissions — moves that have incensed progressive Democrats.
Vulnerable Democratic incumbents, however, have distanced themselves from the idea, fearing possible backlash.
It isn’t only the expansion of the Supreme Court that’s being discussed; other proposals under discussion include imposing term limits and requiring the Supreme Court to adopt an ethics code.
The code of ethics would shed light on the influence special interest groups have on the Court.
Despite acknowledging Democrats don’t have the votes to expand the Court or limit Justice’s term, more have become optimistic that an ethics code could be implemented.
Discussing the national policy-making body for the federal courts, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) — a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — said “Definitely better disclosure of guests and hospitality has momentum because, although the Supreme Court tried to duck it, the Judicial Conference is looking into it.”
Whitehouse, who has pointed out that Supreme Court Justices are the only judges not bound by the code of conduct for U.S. judges, added that “sussing out who the dark money donors behind the right-wing amici” gained momentum “because… although the Supreme Court has tried to suppress that, the Judicial Conference has gone ahead to make inquiries.”
While Whitehouse and other Democrats pursue an ethics code for Justices, Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey spent the fourth of July recess calling for the filibuster’s abolishment to enable Democrats to expand the Supreme Court.
Markey was one of the first to call for the Supreme Court’s expansion — while many Democrats were calling to codify Roe.
Markey argued, shortly after the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, that it was necessary to “repeal the filibuster so that we can expand the Supreme Court to reclaim the two stolen seats on a now illegitimate court, which are stealing the rights of American people.”