Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and 19 other Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to President Biden and congressional leaders opposing efforts to alter the makeup of the Supreme Court.
Biden has already announced the formation of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, which will explore potential court reforms and address issues, including the size of the court. Days later, Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill to expand the court from nine justices to 13.
“We believe that such actions will seriously undermine our constitutional system, the public’s confidence in our courts, and the rule off law,” the attorneys general said in their letter, which was addressed to Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The letter pointed to why the country’s Founding Fathers made a point of having an independent judiciary.
“The Framers created a strict separation of the judicial power from the other branches of government because the colonists had been subjected to judicial abuses by the Crown,” the letter said. “The judicial branch and the judicial power created by Article III was to prevent the new federal government from repeating those abuses.”
The letter went on to address recent accusations from Democrats that the Supreme Court – which currently has a 6-3 majority of justices who were appointed by Republican presidents – has been politicized.
“The justices of the Supreme Court have repeatedly shown their independence, despite their differences and the labels some have put on them,” the attorneys general said. “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. After all, the whims of elected officials are the very thing against which the court is there to protect the people.”
The Republican AGs called Democratic efforts to expand the court’s roster and pack it with liberal justices “alarming,” stating that similar measures in other countries showed “that this can lead to the demise of democracy.”
“These attempts to take over our nation’s highest court, left unopposed, will shake the foundations of our system of government and fray the boundaries of separation of powers instilled in our Constitution,” they said.
In addition to Moody, the letter was signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.