The former Attorney General of the U.S., Eric Holder, stated that the next Democrat that becomes president should consider expanding the U.S. Supreme Court to block the Republicans from resorting to their “power-grabbing antics.”
Eric Holder, despite making frequent trips to primary states and months of speculations, has confirmed that he will not be running for president in 2020, but he did speak at Yale Law School on Thursday about some of the issues he’s having at the moment.
He explained to the crowd that if he was the president, he would “seriously consider adding two seats to the Supreme Court to make up for [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell‘s power-grabbing antics.” Holder made the comments after being questioned about how Democrats could turn their aggressiveness into actual policies that will help the situation.
In the past, certain presidents have played around with the idea of expanding the Supreme Court, even Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to add six extra seats to the nation’s highest court. But Roosevelt’s plan was blown out of the water by the conservatives in his own party.
According to Law&Crime, one of the questioners at Yale wanted to know about Holder’s criticism of Michelle Obama’s infamous saying about “going high” and asked what the Democrats should do if the Republicans lost the White House.
A spokesperson for Holder confirmed the comments and issued a statement against Senate Republicans for disregarding “historical precedent” when it comes to nominations in the high court. “In response to a question, former Attorney General Holder said that given the unfairness, unprecedented obstruction, and disregard of historical precedent by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, when Democrats retake the majority they should consider expanding the Supreme Court to restore adherence to previously accepted norms for judicial nominations. He views this as a corrective,” said spokesperson Patrick Rodenbush.
Last year, after rejecting Barack Obama’s call for respect, Holder encouraged the Democrats to forget about civility. “It is time for us, as Democrats, to be as tough as they are, to be as dedicated as they are, to be as committed as they are. Michelle always says — I love her; she and my wife are like, really tight, which always scares me and Barack — but Michelle always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. When they go low, we kick ’em,” said Holder. Holder is the first high-profile Democrat to promote the idea of expanding the Supreme Court, which makes even the progressive candidates of 2020 a bit nervous.
“Pack the Courts,” a progressive group, has been on the front lines trying to create more conversations about expanding the number of seats in the Supreme Court, but as of now, only two candidates running in the 2020 campaign race have said that they’re open to the idea. During a podcast in January, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said that expanding the court or imposing limits on the term length were “interesting ideas.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is also running in the 2020 campaign, said people shouldn’t dismiss the idea entirely, explaining that “it’s no more a shattering of norms than what’s already been done to get the judiciary to where it is today.” Meanwhile, “Pack the Courts” is celebrating the statements that Holder made and urged the other presidential candidates to “explain how they will restore democracy over the objections of a hostile and partisan Court” so they can be “taken seriously.”
“The Supreme Court dismantled the Voting Rights Act, allowed a flood of dark money to corrupt our politics, and permitted hyper-partisan gerrymandering to rig the system against voters. Because the Court has undermined the institutions of democracy, court packing is the only way to restore the integrity of the political system,” said the progressive group in a statement. “Attorney General Holder’s positive remarks about court packing today underscore the importance of judicial reform as the 2020 campaign kicks into high gear. To be taken seriously, presidential candidates must explain how they will restore democracy over the objections of a hostile and partisan Court,” continued the statement.