On April 22, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter joined in a letter to President Joe Biden and congressional leaders explaining that the proposal to pack the U.S. Supreme Court undermines the constitutional system, public confidence in the courts and the rule of law. Court packing is the practice of changing the composition of judges on a specific court by increasing the number of seats, thus tipping the balance of power toward one political party. Recently, President Biden formed a commission to study expanding the current nine-member bench of the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, congressional Democrats have filed legislation that would add four new justices to the court. “Given the filing of the bill six days after the president announced his executive order regarding the Supreme Court, it is clear that the Commission on the Supreme Court is nothing but a coordinated attempt to justify a naked political power grab by the leaders of Congress and the president,” the letter reads.
Attorney General Hunter said the effort to expand the court will be met with strong opposition. “Attempting to pack the court is a complete abuse of power that is destined to fail,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The framers of the Constitution specifically made the judiciary independent to avoid judicial abuses by a tyrannical government, like the one they fled. Even famous liberal icons like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer have condemned the notion of adding seats to the court. My attorneys general colleagues and I will do whatever it takes to fight this radical idea.”
The letter, signed by a coalition of 20 attorneys general, says the last failed attempt at court packing was 80 years ago. Since that time, presidents and Congress have respected the independence of the judiciary and the Supreme Court as the bulwark protecting Americans’ liberties. It has been over 150 years since the court composition was altered. “The Justices of the Supreme Court have repeatedly shown their independence, despite their differences and the labels some have put on them,” the letter continues. “When elected officials do not like the outcome in a case, that is not a sign of the politicization of the Court, but of the system working.”