In a speech at Harvard Law School, Justice Breyer, a Clinton appointee, said Tuesday that any move by Democrats to add justices to the high court would give the appearance of politics and damage the court’s influence.
“Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust,” Justice Breyer said, according to The Washington Post.
Several prominent Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, called for expanding the Supreme Court beyond nine justices after former President Trump appointed three justices to the high court to fill vacancies during his term. One of those seats was formerly held by a Democratic appointee, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, as a candidate during the Democratic primary, suggested as many as 15 new justices could be added to the high court.
Liberal icon Ginsburg — like Justice Breyer — also batted down calls from the left to alter the court.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she said in 2019.
Retirement announcements usually come at the end of the court‘s term, which typically ends in June.
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