Supreme Court docket Justice Stephen Breyer warned in opposition to packing the court docket in a speech at Harvard Regulation College on Tuesday.
Breyer mentioned his lecture’s function was to “make these whose preliminary instincts might favor necessary structural or different related institutional adjustments, resembling types of ‘court-packing,’ suppose lengthy and exhausting earlier than embodying these adjustments in legislation,” in keeping with The Washington Publish.
Some progressives known as on President Biden and different Democrats to help court-packing, or increasing the variety of justices on the Supreme Court docket bench, amid Republicans’ affirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett’s appointment gave conservatives a 6-3 majority on the bench.
Nevertheless, Breyer cautioned in opposition to such a transfer in his speech.
The court docket’s authority relies on “a belief that the court docket is guided by authorized precept, not politics,” Breyer mentioned, including that “structural alteration motivated by the notion of political affect can solely feed that notion, additional eroding that belief.”
“If the general public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence within the courts, and within the rule of legislation itself, can solely diminish, diminishing the court docket’s energy, together with its energy to behave as a ‘verify’ on the opposite branches,” Breyer mentioned.
At 84, Breyer is the oldest justice on the Court docket and one in all three liberals on the bench. Breyer might face stress from Democrats to retire throughout President Biden’s time period, in order that Biden might appoint one other liberal justice.