Liberal Supreme Court Justice Speaks Out against Court-Packing

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With the Senate divided 50–50 and the filibuster intact (for now), the issue of expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court has been put on the back burner, but Justice Stephen Breyer is nevertheless warning his fellow progressives that they should give up on the idea. 

The Wall Street Journal reports

Justice Stephen Breyer said proposals to restructure the Supreme Court could damage its reputation as an apolitical body, dealing a blow to liberals pressing to increase the number of justices to counter Republican successes in seating three members nominated by former President Donald Trump.

Justice Breyer, speaking at Harvard Law School on Tuesday, said he hoped “to make those whose initial instincts may favor important structural (or other similar institutional) changes, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before embodying those changes in law,” according to prepared remarks publicly released Wednesday.

With Democrats in control of the Senate and White House for the first time since 2014, progressives are hoping that Breyer, who turns 83 later this year, will retire soon.