Sen. Ed Markey: ‘We Must Expand the Supreme Court’

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) demanded Monday that more justices be added to the U.S. Supreme Court in the wake of Monday’s anticipated confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court’s vacant seat.

Markey, an outspoken opponent of Barrett’s confirmation process, has remained to the left of Democrat leaders in his open calls to expand the Supreme Court following the death of perhaps the most well-known liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and President Donald Trump’s subsequent nomination of Barrett.

Markey bluntly reaffirmed his stance Monday:

The idea of expanding or “packing” the court recently resurfaced out of concerns that the court, which will now seat six Republican-appointed justices to the Democrats’ three assuming Barrett is confirmed, will function as a political body and produce decisions with Republican-favored outcomes.

Democrat leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts’ senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, have avoided directly advocating for court expansion as the idea has long been viewed as a response with long-term implications in exchange for only short-term political gain.

Both Schumer and Warren have said instead that all options to address concerns about an imbalance on the Supreme Court are “on the table.” Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed the same through proposing that a committee of legal scholars come up with court reforms in the 180 days after he takes office.

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin went a step further by vocalizing outright opposition to court expansion in an MSNBC interview Monday, saying, “It’ll be tit for tat if the Democrats try to put two more on; when the Republicans take over the White House, they’ll do the same. No, that doesn’t solve a thing. We’ve proven that doesn’t work.”

Markey, who is up for reelection this year and heavily favored to win in the deeply blue Bay State, has also repeatedly described Barrett’s nomination as “illegitimate” and called for abolishing the Senate filibuster. Expanding the court is contingent upon Democrats winning the November 3 election and ridding of the filibuster rule so that a simple majority would be enough to implement the change.

Notably, the late Justice Ginsburg opposed the idea of expanding the Supreme Court, saying in an NPR interview last year, “Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at ao*****@br*******.com.