Former Attorney General Eric Holder Urges Democrats to Pack the Supreme Court
Former Attorney General Eric Holder urged Democrats to “use the power” of their new majority to pack the Supreme Court.
In a virtual conference on judicial reform hosted by the Brookings Institution on Monday, Holder said Democrats need to act now that they have control of the White House and Congress.
“It is painfully clear, at least to me, that Democrats and progressives are, and have been, uncomfortable with the acquisition and the use of power … Republicans and conservatives never have been,” Holder said.
Holder outlined how Republicans allegedly “abused their power” by rushing through the nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to keep control of the Supreme Court.
“[Republicans] abuse their power to give themselves unfair advantage,” he said.
“I believe it would be totally appropriate to add additional seats to the Supreme Court in response to what has transpired over the past few years.”
Increasing the size of the Supreme Court to include more than nine justices is known as court packing.
During his campaign, President Joe Biden repeatedly refused to say if he supported Democrats’ calls to pack the Supreme Court.
The Coalition to Preserve an Independent Supreme Court is one organization in support of keeping just nine justices on the court, the Washington Times reported.
“It’s a bad idea today and it will be a bad idea tomorrow,” coalition Director Roman Buhler said.
“Our sense is that it is about 50/50 whether they try to pack the Supreme Court, but we think we will have some time to build momentum against it.”
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also spoke against court packing and told NPR in 2019, “Nine seems to be a good number. I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Holder said other court reforms should include term limits for justices and a structured appointment process to “provide stability and a level of fairness to the process that does not now currently exist.”
He also said that an age requirement of at least 50 years old should be implemented.
“We need to ensure that there is diversity on the bench that includes race, gender, as well as professional experience,” Holder said.
“There is no reason that in 2021 we should have a federal judiciary that does not reflect the diversity of the American people.”
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