Sens. Cruz, Tillis, McSally, Wicker, Loeffler, Hyde-Smith Introduce Constitutional & Legislative Proposals To Prevent Democrats from Packing the Supreme Court
Efforts include 'Keep Nine' constitutional amendment and legislation to prevent Democrats from packing the Supreme Court
October 19, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As Democrats plan to pack the Supreme Court with liberal judicial activists if they win the election, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R- Miss.) today introduced two proposals to maintain the number of justices on the bench, preserve the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, and protect Americans' constitutional liberties.
The first proposal would prevent the expansion or contraction of the Supreme Court by constitutional amendment, also known as the "Keep Nine" amendment. The second proposal would stop Democrats from unilaterally passing any court-packing legislation in the United States Senate.
Upon introducing these proposals, Sen. Cruz said:
"Make no mistake, if Democrats win the election, they will end the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, expanding the number of justices to advance their radical political agenda, entrenching their power for generations, and destroying the foundations of our democratic system. We must take action before election day to safeguard the Supreme Court and the constitutional liberties that hang in the balance. That's why I'm proud to introduce these two commonsense proposals, which will prevent either party from adding or contracting the number of justices on the bench for political advantage."
After Democrats last week during the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett accused Senate Republicans of Court packing for simply fulfilling their constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on judicial nominees, Sen. Cruz added:
"Don't be fooled by Democrats' hyperbolic rhetoric. Packing the Court means one very specific thing: expanding the number of justices to achieve a political outcome. It is wrong. It is an abuse of power. Democrats are endeavoring to redefine the language to set the stage for a partisan assault on the Court. When it comes to our fundamental liberties - our religious liberty, our freedom of speech, our Second Amendment rights - we are often one vote away from losing them on the Supreme Court. For the sake of our liberties and the future of our country, we must preserve our independent judiciary. These proposals would do just that."
Sen. Tillis added:
"For the last few years, Democrats have made no secret of their desire to see a radical, socialist agenda imposed on the American people. Unable to implement their job-killing plans through the Democratic process, they've decided they'll simply impose it on the American people through the Supreme Court. Chuck Schumer and his allies are now saying they'll pack the Supreme Court if Senate Republicans fulfill their constitutional duty to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Their proposals are dangerous and would give them free reign to appoint radical judges who would legislate from the bench, threatening the religious liberty and Second Amendment rights of North Carolinians. We have had nine judges on the Supreme Court since 1869, and efforts to change that is not supported by the majority of the American people. I am proud to co-introduce these proposals to stop Chuck Schumer's radical liberal agenda and maintain the integrity of the Supreme Court."
Sen. McSally said:
"Threats by Democrats to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court and add liberal activist judges is disturbing and dangerous. On top of that, some Democrats reluctance to even answer whether they would pack the Court proves a far more frightening reality. The left will first deceive the American people and then use any tool at their disposal to gain power and force their radical agenda on them. Our bills are critical to thwarting any efforts to fundamentally transform the Supreme Court, keeping the number of Justices at nine as it has been for over 150 years."
Sen. Wicker added:
"Proposals to ‘pack' the Supreme Court and add seats to change its ideological balance should concern every American. There have been nine seats on the Supreme Court for more than 150 years, providing stability and trust in the rule of law. These two proposals would protect the independence of our federal judiciary and ensure our nation's highest court is not subject to political games."
Sen. Loeffler said:
"The shameful attacks on Judge Barrett are especially hypocritical given the Left's calls to pack the Supreme Court and end the filibuster in a desperate attempt to impose their radical agenda on the American people. These proposals will prevent Democrats from fundamentally altering the Court and adding new seats only to fill them with activist judges who will legislate from the bench and threaten the right to life, the Second Amendment and all the individual liberties that we as Americans hold dear. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in preventing attempts to undermine the integrity of our democracy and Americans' freedoms."
Sen. Hyde-Smith added:
"Having nine justices on the United States Supreme Court has worked for more than 150 years. Today, the long-standing checks and balances that are the foundation of our democracy would be thrown into crisis if threats to pack the court are successful. Packing the court is all about politics and power, not principle. The legislation we introduce today would keep our democracy intact and isolate the judiciary from the political whims of our colleagues across the aisle."
Before President Trump had even nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Senate Democrats had already pledged their opposition to her confirmation.
Top Democrats, including Joe Biden, have falsely called Senate Republican's efforts to confirm Judge Barrett "court packing" because Republicans have been confirming principled constitutionalists to the federal bench. But as Sen. Cruz has said, "Court packing does not mean nominating a justice to fill a vacancy. [...] It is expanding the number of justices. And, you know, Joe Biden in 1983 said Court packing was ‘a bone-headed idea,' and now that bone headed idea I think is their agenda number one if they win on Election Day."
It is abundantly clear that Democrats are desperately trying to redefine court packing in an attempt to hide their true objective: adding seats to the Supreme Court in a radical and partisan attempt to drive the Court to the left.
Joe Biden has faced growing calls to expand the Court from the media and prominent Democratic politicians alike. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) tweeted just hours after Ginsburg's passing, "Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court."
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, also signaled support for packing the Supreme Court, calling Court packing "long-overdue court reform."
Earlier this year, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) voiced her openness to expanding the Supreme Court saying, "We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court [...] We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that."
And Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) voiced her support for expanding the Court while perfectly underlining the need for Sen. Cruz's legislation saying, "I'm open. [...] Actually, I mean, we could. [...] Look, there are a lot of different ways to do it. The number of people on the Supreme Court is not constitutionally constricted."
Read more about Sen Cruz's opposition to Democrats plans to pack the Supreme Court here.