DALLAS – Former President Donald Trump Sunday alleged that Democrats are attempting to intimidate the Supreme Court in order to secure favorable rulings, including by threatening to pack the nine-member bench and floating impeaching Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“The Democrats are vicious to the Supreme Court and to Kavanaugh,” Trump said.
Trump made the comments as part of his wide-ranging speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, in which he revisited grievances ranging from his impeachment to the Russia investigation while attacking Democrats over topics including immigration and critical race theory.
For part of his speech, Trump focused on what he said were unexpectedly liberal rulings from the Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 GOP-appointed majority, including three justices appointed by Trump himself.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 11, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. CPAC began in 1974, and is a conference that brings together and hosts conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders in discussing current events and future political agendas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
“We’re getting some unexpected rulings because the nine justices do not want to be packed. And the Democrats are in a position to pack the court and they don’t want to be packed,” Trump said.
“They are playing the ref,” Trump said “That’s what’s happening with our Supreme Court.”
“If the justices go their way, they won’t be packed,” Trump also said.
Among Trump’s complaints about the court was that it did not take up a lawsuit filed by Texas which attempted to invalidate the election result in four states won by President Biden – legal experts had said that the suit was procedurally flawed well before the court declined to hear it.
Trump also mentioned comments made by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., directed at Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch, that many said appeared to be threats.
In this Nov. 30, 2018, file photo Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh sits with fellow Supreme Court justices for a group portrait at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Former President Donald Trump alleged Sunday that Democrats are attempting to intimidate Kavanaugh and other justices into issuing favorable rulings. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Trump further lamented the treatment of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing and even after, when many Democrats have called for his impeachment.
“How does he get out of that? By voting for the Democrats,” Trump said. “It’s a very sad thing.”
Some Democrats recently also attempted to pressure Justice Stephen Breyer to step down from the bench so that President Biden can have the opportunity to appoint his replacement while there is still a Democratic majority in the Senate.
The court for much of June – the month it releases a rush of opinions on its most controversial cases – appeared to be breaking with the narrative that it is a partisan institution, with the justices agreeing 9-0 or 8-1 on even highly controversial cases.
But on the final day of its term the conservative majority flexed its muscles, delivering two 6-3 rulings on major cases – one about Arizona election laws and another case out of California about labor unions and property rights.
The court’s upcoming term includes some potentially major cases, including one case on a Mississippi abortion law that many believe could lead to the fall of Roe v. Wade.