Holder: Next Dem President Should Consider Packing Supreme Court

Eric Holder / Getty Images
March 7, 2019

Former attorney general Eric Holder said the next Democratic president should "seriously" consider adding seats to the Supreme Court if they have a Democratic majority in the Senate.

Holder made the remarks during an event with the Yale Law National Security Group, the Daily Beast reports. Although there is no recording of the event, a spokesman for Holder confirmed he supported court-packing.

"In response to a question, Attorney General Holder said that given the unfairness, unprecedented obstruction, and disregard of historical precedent by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, when Democrats retake the majority they should consider expanding the Supreme Court to restore adherence to previously accepted norms for judicial nominations," spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is running for president, has also entertained the idea of court-packing, calling it "no more a departure from norms than what the Republicans did to get the judiciary to the place it is today."

Progressive activists recently started a group named "Pack the Courts" in an effort to pressure 2020 Democratic candidates to expand the Supreme Court. The group raised more than $500,000 by the end of February and is partnering with the progressive group Demand Justice.

"At Demand Justice, we strongly believe that reforming the court — especially by expanding it — is the cornerstone for re-building American democracy," Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice and a former Hillary Clinton press secretary, told Politico.

Fallon referred to the courts as "stolen" and called the Supreme Court a "partisan operation."

Holder announced earlier this week he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president, saying instead he would try to end gerrymandering.