Immediately following the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision overturning abortion rights published by Politico, Politico had Morning Consult conduct a poll, revealing that a clear majority of voters—57%—want the court to support abortion rights and that 56% of voters believe abortion should be legal in “most” or “all cases.”
What else? The idea of Supreme Court reform is very popular: 66% strongly or somewhat approve of term limits for justices; 64% want to see an age cap for justices; 73% believe there should be a binding code of ethics for the court; 57% believe the court should be balanced with an equal number of Democrats, Republicans, and independents; and 57% support the idea of expanding the number of justices on the court.
That backs up polling conducted in March by Hart Research for The New Republic. That poll found that 52% of voters “believe that increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court would strengthen democracy.” And boy, howdy, would it be popular with what generally is thought of as the Democratic base: 67% aged 18-34, 58% aged 35-49; 69% of Black voters, 60% of Hispanic voters; 72% of Democrats; 71% of Biden voters; 83% of liberals and 54% of moderates; 84% of liberal Democrats and 58% of moderate/conservative Democrats.
That’s a lot of people who could use a good reason to make the effort to vote this November, maybe even kick in a few bucks for volunteer hours. That awareness could be creeping in for Democrats. On the Senate floor Wednesday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took direct aim at the court, and at the Republicans who created it. “Now, we must be clear: this week’s draft decision didn’t come out of nowhere,” Schumer said. “It didn’t materialize in a vacuum. Indeed, the blame for the end of Roe lies primarily right across the aisle here with Senate Republicans.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe would have never been possible without Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans spending years packing our courts with hard-right judges, judges who came from a list—under the Trump years—that the Federalist Society approved,” he continued. That’s right—he accused McConnell and Trump of packing the courts, which is precisely what happened.
That’s the right narrative to build. The court has already been packed, it’s been packed with illegitimate justices by illegitimate means, by a perversion of the constitution. By McConnell, for Trump. The voters get that, and they get the solution: expanding the court. We just need the people who can do something about it to follow us.
Christine Pelosi talks about the Supreme Court's leaked decision on Roe v. Wade, and what Democrats are doing now, on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast
Yes, there are obstacles in the form of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, but they’re basically daring Chuck Schumer and President Biden to make them irrelevant. That’s another motivating message for the base: Increase the majority and tell those two to take a hike. At this point, they’re not going to do anything to help Democrats—including helping to eliminate the filibuster to pass federal abortion protections—so Democrats might as well start running against them.
So expanding the court is what you might call a winning idea for President Biden and congressional Democrats. It also happens to be the most effective way to get our country back.
Our country. The one that won the Civil War. The one that is composed of a beautifully diverse, albeit unequal, population. The country built by labor unions and women and people of every color who have fought for it, fought for the promise that anyone can be anything in this land. That you don’t have to be a propertied, straight, white man in order to count.