WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced today that the membership of the CPC voted to endorse legislation to expand the United States Supreme Court by four seats, bringing the number of seated justices to 13. The Judiciary Act of 2021 was introduced in the House by three CPC members, Representatives Jerrod Nadler (NY-10), Hank Johnson (GA-04), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17), and in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).
“After thoughtful consideration, the Progressive Caucus membership has determined that the urgent work to restore American democracy must include expanding the Supreme Court,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “The current bench was filled by a partisan, right-wing effort to entrench a radical, anti-democratic faction and erode human rights that have been won over decades. In recent years, this court has gutted the Voting Rights Act and public sector unions, entrenched unconstitutional abortion bans, and failed to overturn the blatantly discriminatory Muslim Ban. As a co-equal governing body, Congress cannot sit by while this attack on the constitution continues unchecked. I am proud that our Caucus is joining the fight to expand the court and restore balance to the bench.”
The sponsoring members issued the following statements:
“Our founders understood that as the country evolved, the Supreme Court would need to evolve with it,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler. “The Judiciary Act represents a much-needed next step in that evolution by expanding the number of seats on the Court, providing it with the necessary balance to meet the challenges of today and those for many years to come. I am grateful to have the CPC endorsement for this legislation, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to strengthen the legitimacy of the Court and restore power to the people.”
“The critical issues that impact our day-to-day lives – such as voting and civil rights, reproductive freedom, climate justice, and consumer and workers’ rights – are being decided by a GOP-packed conservative supermajority on a United States Supreme Court, which is destroying its own legitimacy with partisan decisions that are upending decades of precedent and progress in this nation,” said Congressman Johnson, chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. “I want to thank Chair Jayapal and the entire Progressive Caucus for endorsing and supporting the Judiciary Act – a bill to expand the Supreme Court that I was proud to introduce last year along with Chairman Jerry Nadler and Rep. Mondaire Jones. The need to expand the Court is necessary to safeguard the liberties of all who live in this country.”
“Over the past year, the 6-3, far-right supermajority on the Supreme Court further gutted the Voting Rights Act, effectively overturned Roe v. Wade by allowing a Texas law to remain intact, and restricted the right of labor unions to organize,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones. “Unless we take action, the Court’s assault on our democracy and our fundamental freedoms will only get worse. But we are not powerless to stop these attacks. The Judiciary Act of 2021, which I introduced with Senator Markey and Representatives Johnson and Nadler, will restore integrity and balance to the Supreme Court by expanding it. A clear majority of Americans supports Court expansion because the people understand what’s at stake, and I’m thrilled that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is with us in this fight. With nearly 50 cosponsors and counting, we are closer than ever to restoring balance to the nation’s highest court and building a judiciary, and a democracy, that work for everyone.”
Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, added: "After a series of major breakthroughs in 2021, The Judiciary Act is kicking off 2022 with another major endorsement showing more and more Democrats understand it is the only way to restore balance to the Supreme Court. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been on the cutting edge of fighting for the bold action needed to protect democracy and create an economy that works for everyone, and with this endorsement, the CPC is giving a major boost to the only reform bold enough to rebalance a Supreme Court that currently threatens any progress on issues progressives care about."
“We are thrilled to see the Progressive Caucus under Chairwoman Jayapal, push the movement for Court expansion forward, and applaud Representative Hank Johnson for his leadership on this legislation,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, Executive Director of Take Back the Court Action Fund. “Progress on everything from reproductive freedom, to voting rights, to climate change, racial justice, immigration, and the future of democracy itself, requires us to rebalance this Court. And today’s endorsement from the Progressive Caucus is a loud and clear message that we will not let this hyperpartisan 6-3 stolen Court stand in the way of that progress. We will meet the urgency of the moment and expand the Court.”