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Bridging The Gap
Conservatives are already packing the courts. Democrats must respond to this power grab.
  Wednesday 08 May, 2019
Conservatives are already packing the courts. Democrats must respond to this power grab.

Supreme Court reform has entered the public debate, with legal luminaries like former Attorney General Eric Holder and constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe supporting adding justices to the Supreme Court, and a number of 2020 presidential candidates expressing openness to the idea.

Regardless of your views on proposals to reform the Supreme Court, there is important context to this discussion that is often missed: Conservatives are already packing the courts. Senate Republicans have been changing the rules and ignoring long-standing practices in order to fill the judiciary with narrow-minded conservative elitists. Their goal is to use the courts to implement conservative policies, regardless of their popular support. The issue we face now is how to respond to this power grab.

Conservatives have done everything they can to keep their years-long court packing efforts under the radar. Rather than start by adding new judges, they instead subtracted them, quietly refusing to let President Barack Obama appoint judges. Then, under President Donald Trump, they have changed the rules to fill those seats with ultra-right wing judges at breakneck speed.

The numbers tell a stark story. In Trump’s first two years, Senate Republicans confirmed 30 appellate court judges; they only confirmed two in Obama’s final two years. This disparity is highly unusual: by comparison, a Democratic Senate confirmed 10 appellate judges in President George W. Bush’s final two years, compared to 16 judges in Obama’s first two.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/05/07/conservatives-packing-courts-democrats-must-respond-column/3564022002/

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