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Cato SCOTUS expert: Democrats' court packing plan would turn justices into 'JV politicians'

Democrats have floated the idea of adding four more justices to the Supreme Court, putting the number at 13 justices.

Updated: April 16, 2021 - 3:05pm

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Constitutional law scholar Ilya Shapiro said Friday that Democrats and progressives' call to pack the Supreme Court would delegitimize it and turn the justices into "JV politicians."

"If what the Democrats are saying is the court is illegitimate or too politicized, then the way to solve that certainly isn't to apply even more political pressure and make them even more of a JV politicians, as it were," Shapiro, a vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute, told "Just The News AM." "And so I don't think this is the right way to go."

Recently, several prominent Democrats have made effort to "pack," or add justices to the high court, including Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Jerry Nadler.

Markey and Nadler's want to add four new justices to balance out the three added under the Trump administration – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

"We're here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken," Markey said Thursday. "It is out of balance. It needs to be fixed." 

Shapiro, publisher of Cato's Supreme Court Review, argues that adding justices would de-legitimize the court in the eyes of the American people.

"The only thing I agree with that Senator Sanders on said during the primaries is that if we do this, and then the Republicans will do it when they take power, and in 50 years, we're gonna have 87 justices that would really devalue the court,"  de legitimated," Shapiro told the show host.

By adding justices, Shapiro says the court will not be seen as a judicial branch but a legislative one. He said if that happens, an important part of the country's checks and balances in government would be gone.