by Kathryn Carley, Commonwealth News Service
Massachusetts lawmakers in Congress are calling for an expansion of the U.S. Supreme Court due to what they said are “ethical lapses” and “partisan rulings” by the seated justices.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said the recent financial disclosure scandals surrounding Justice Clarence Thomas along with the public’s historically low confidence in the court are making the case for a court expansion.
Warren said lawmakers are building a nationwide movement to ensure what she calls a “just majority.”
“I don’t want to mess with the Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court is messing with our democracy,” Warren asserted.
Warren added she supports the Judiciary Act to Expand the Court, noting the Constitution gives Congress the power to do so. Opponents of so-called “court-packing” said it would undermine the court’s integrity.
Advocates for reproductive, civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and gun safety are embarking on a nationwide bus tour in support of expanding the Supreme Court.
Janson Wu, executive director of GLAD, said more than 500 bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community have been introduced nationwide, but the issues will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court.
“This is a deliberate, coordinated, well-funded and long-term strategy advanced by extremist forces to reverse the twentieth century,” Wu contended.
Advocates said a code of ethics for the justices is long overdue to ensure rules to prevent conflicts of interest as well as greater transparency, including livestreaming of decisions and oral arguments before the court.