Republicans have packed the courts and openly 'brag about it,' top Senate Democrat complains
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is set to become the second Republican-appointed Supreme Court Justice in US history. (Getty Images)
Democrats have a new distracting discussion when it comes to whether they'll try to "pack" the Supreme Court with more judges when they battle power in Congress and the White House this fall: Republicans already have the courts packed.
Richard Durbin, the second most powerful Democrat in that chamber, said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the GOP had openly “bragged” about filling the seats of the Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Appeals with Conservative judges.
"The American people have watched the Republicans grab the court for the past three and a half years and they brag about it," said the Illinois senator. "We are dealing with people on the pitch who have had little or no qualifications for a long time."
The trial adds more judges to an existing court, be it the US Supreme Court, which has nine judges, one of 13 different-sized federal appeals court cases, or another court.
The US Constitution does not state how many federal judges there must be, even in the Supreme Court. Congress and the President can adjust the number by passing and signing a simple bill like any other federal law.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently refused to say whether he would box up the Supreme Court to dilute the Conservative 6-3 majority if Republicans Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump's candidate to succeed the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, confirm successfully.
“Look, the only court packaging is running right now. The Republicans are now seizing the court, "Biden told reporters on Saturday just before he left for an election freeze in Pennsylvania.
During the primary democratic process, Mr Biden had signaled his opposition to the Supreme Court packing.
"We add three judges - next time we lose control, they add three judges," he said during a debate last year when asked for his views on the issue.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP delayed dozens of Barack Obama's nominations for appointments and districts in the past two years of Mr. Obama's presidency. Then, in 2016, he declined to hold a confirmatory trial for Supreme Court candidate Merrick Garland, whom Mr. Obama nominated seven months after that year's election.
At the time, McConnell and the Senate Republicans said it was too close to a presidential election for a Supreme Court election.
Republicans are expected to vote on the confirmation of Ms. Barrett just days before the 2020 elections, which are already underway in many states.
However, Mr McConnell did not say whether the GOP would vote before or after the election to endorse Ms. Barrett.
"It is confirmed that she will be on trial in the near future," he said in an interview with a local ABC News affiliate in Kentucky last week.
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