Kamala Harris Says She’s ‘Open’ to Expanding Supreme Court

Sahil Kapur
Kamala Harris Says She’s ‘Open’ to Expanding Supreme Court

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said Wednesday she’s open to expanding the U.S. Supreme Court, accusing Republicans of creating a “crisis of confidence” in the nation’s highest court.

“I am interested in having that conversation," the California senator said in Nashua, New Hampshire, in response to a question about whether she favors adding as many as four seats to the court. "I’m open to this conversation about increasing the number of people on the United States Supreme Court.”

She said she’s also interested in applying term limits to the court and limiting the number of nominees for any particular president.

Harris’s remarks reflect growing demands by progressive activists to combat Republican efforts to reshape the federal courts with young conservatives, which has been one of President Donald Trump’s most significant actions. Many Democrats remain angry with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to allow a hearing on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016 and holding the seat open for Trump to fill with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Brian Fallon, who runs the liberal judicial advocacy group Demand Justice, said Wednesday’s comments are "a welcome signal from Harris" amid efforts in conservative states to create a court case that could overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion-rights ruling.

"Especially with Roe so clearly under assault, we cannot settle for the status quo when it comes to the Supreme Court," Fallon said. "The court is too partisan in its makeup and has too little regard for precedent. Democrats need to think boldly."

The comments from Harris came in response to a question from a man who said the GOP “stole” Gorsuch’s Supreme Court seat from Obama and that he also doesn’t believe Trump’s second nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, should be on the court. Kavanaugh was accused of a sexual assault while he was in high school, which he denied.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Wendy Benjaminson

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