Congressional Democrats introduce legislation to expand Supreme Court

Legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Ed Markey and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler seeks to expand the seats on the Supreme Court from nine to 13.
4:05 | 04/15/21

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Transcript for Congressional Democrats introduce legislation to expand Supreme Court
We are here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken. It is out of balance. And it needs to be fixed. Committee Americans view our highest court in the land as a partisan. Political institution. Not are in impartial. Judicial branch of government. And make no mistake about it the cord is broken because leader Mitch McConnell. His senate Republican colleagues and dull trial. Broke it. They violated historic norms governing. Supreme Court appointments they created. A precedence. That the senate would not confirm a justice to the Supreme Court during a presidential year. He fusing to give now attorney general Merrick Garland a hearing in eight votes. They held the seat open for months and months and and allowed Donald Trump to appoint. Neil or such. They claim that the proximity. To a presidential election meant the seat had to be held open until the people through their votes for president. To decide who should fill it. Senator McConnell even wrote that because we were quote in the midst of a presidential election process. We believe that the American people should seize the opportunity. To weigh in. On whom they trust to nominate. The next person or a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court yet. Four years later just days before the 20/20. Presidential election even while Americans work casting ballots. Leader McConnell and his Republican colleagues confirmed eighty Tony Barrett to the court to fill the seat held by the late great. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so much for letting the people weigh in. And away we are a parent is straight full. We undo the damage. That the Republicans have done by restoring the balance. And we do it by adding four seats to the court. To create a thirteen member Supreme Court. These four new seats to be filled by president Biden. Will reconstitute. The United States Supreme Court. The bench will then rightly reflect the values of the majority of the American people on whose behalf. They served that some people will say. But Supreme Court. It's always been nine members. But it hasn't. There's nothing new about changing the size of the Supreme Court. The constitution leaves the number of justices up to congress. And congress has changed that number seven times in the history of the country. Our founders understood. That as the country in the judicial system evolve the court needs to about would it. And this legislation represents a much needed next step in that evolution. Nine justices may have made sense in the nineteenth century. When they were only nine circuits. Only a few hundred appeals were filed before the court every year. And so many of our most important was everything from civil rights to anti trust the Internet. Financial regulation health care immigration and white collar crime simply did not exist. As far as the court was concerned and did not require adjudication by the Supreme Court. But the logic behind having only nine justices. Is much weaker today. When their thirteen circuit courts thousands of cases filed before the court each year. And the full range of statutes and regulations that make your economy and our society work. As our country has grown so too to the Supreme Court thirteen justices for thirteen circuits is a logical progression. And that is another reason why I'm glad to join my colleagues introducing. The judiciary act of 2021. To establish the Supreme Court sides as thirteen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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