In an interview this week with NPR, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg told Nina Totenberg that she is not in favor of proposals put forth by some Democratic presidential candidates advocating changing the number of Supreme Court justices.
For example, Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, indicates he would increase the number of justices from nine to 15, reports James Freeman in the WSJ.
While he’s lagging in the polls, Mr. Buttigieg has lately raised more money than any other Democratic candidate—nearly $25 million in the second quarter—so his ideas to remake the U.S. political order will be widely promoted.
Politico’s Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine reported in March, Mr. Buttigieg’s more popular rivals have already said they are open to such ideas.
Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand told POLITICO they would not rule out expanding the Supreme Court if elected president, showcasing a new level of interest in the Democratic field on an issue that has until recently remained on the fringes of debate.
But Justice Ginsburg doesn’t think a personnel increase at the nation’s highest court should be on the table, reports Ms. Totenberg:
Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she (RBG) said, adding, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Several Democratic candidates have indicated an openness, if they were to win the presidency, to adding to the number of justices on the Supreme Court to reduce the power of the current conservative majority.
RBG’s defense of the Court’s current structure and its traditional role in American life is perhaps the “most striking commentary yet on the speed with which leading Democrats are moving to embrace radical ideas,” continues James Freeman, adding, “If they’ve lost Notorious RBG, they’ve lost Middle America.”
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