MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan says expanding the Supreme Court from its current nine justices isn’t as “radical” as critics of the idea make it seem.
And he warned President Joe Biden and the Democrats who control the House and Senate that taking action to expand the court now could be critical to saving American democracy.
“The truth is, adjusting the number of justices on the bench is not as polarizing or radical as some cautious and defensive Dems would have you believe,” he said on Sunday night.
Hasan said the court hasn’t always had nine justices, and noted that Republicans kept the court to just eight for an entire year back in 2016.
“Radical is not changing the size of the court,” he said, adding:
“Radical is what this current court has been doing over the course of its most recent term. The far-right Roberts court has rolled back abortion rights, dealt a deadly blow to the separation of church and state, stripped the states’ ability to determine their own gun control policies, curbed the federal government’s ability to tackle climate change and, well, govern, and allowed multiple GOP-led states to go ahead with functionally racist voting maps.”
Biden, he noted, isn’t inclined to consider expanding the court, reportedly concerned it would be politically polarizing.
“You’re worried about being polarizing, Mr. President?” he asked. “Unelected justices ― five of whom were appointed by presidents who initially lost the popular vote ― are gutting our basic rights. That’s what’s polarizing.”
He warned one of the court’s next moves, in a case related to election law, could be even more devastating.
“To be clear, the conservative justices on the highest bench in the land, having overturned Roe v. Wade, are now only months away from helping to overturn American democracy as we know it,” he said.