The Supreme Court’s conservative majority this week agreed to hear the Mississippi case, which could drastically narrow abortion rights by enabling states to make it illegal to get an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“It will inevitably fuel and drive an effort to expand the Supreme Court if this activist majority betrays fundamental constitutional principles,” stated Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It’s already driving that movement,” he went on.
Blumenthal announced it doesn’t mean that a Congress led by Democrats would instantly be able to add justices to the court, though he suggested it would add momentum to reform attempts at a minimum.
“Chipping away at Roe v. Wade will precipitate a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court,” he said. “It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain number of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”
No one knows for certain when the Supreme Court will deliver down its ruling on the Mississippi abortion law, though it is broadly expected to hear arguments after it convenes in October. That could set up a decision next year.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), another member of the Judiciary Committee, announced the court’s analysis of the Mississippi law elevates serious concerns.
“It really enlivens the concerns that we have about the extent to which right-wing billionaire money has influenced the makeup of the court and may even be pulling strings at the court,” he said.
“We’ve got a whole array of options we’re looking at in the courts committee,” he announced of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, which President Biden placed by executive order in April.
Whitehouse announced that even if there isn’t enough aid for expanding the Supreme Court by four seats, which is a proposal that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) proposed last month, other reforms could be sought.
He cited “easy” reforms such as “proper disclosure and transparency” of the “gifts, travel and hospitality” taken by the judges themselves and the “people who are behind front-group amicus curiae briefs” and who were "funding the political advertisements for the last three judges, writing $15 million and $17 million checks.”
Progressive activists claim that expanding the Supreme Court is the best way to tackle what they see as the court’s extreme ideological tilt.
Market on Friday said attempting to work with the “GOP packed” court would be futile.
“Trying to legislate with a GOP packed Supreme Court and the Jim Crow filibuster is always 1 step forward, 3 steps back,” he tweeted.