World News – United States – Despite rhetoric against Democrats, GOP backed state packing courts


Republicans claim Democrats would expand the US Supreme Court to undermine the Tory majority if it wins the presidency and control of Congress has a familiar sound

This is a tactic that the GOP has already employed in recent years with the supreme state courts as they controlled all the levers of political power in the state

The Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia signed bills passed by GOP-dominated legislatures to increase the number of seats in the respective high courts of their states In Iowa, the governor Republican has acquired greater influence on the commission that appoints candidates for justice

« The arguments put forward by Republican leaders now – that this is an affront to the separation of powers, that it is a way of delegitimizing the courts – do not seem to be accepted in the state level, « said Marin Levy, law professor at Duke University who has written about efforts to expand state high courts.

President Donald Trump and the GOP took to the issue in the final weeks of the presidential race, saying Democratic candidate Joe Biden would push a Democratic Congress to increase Supreme Court seats and fill those of liberal judges

Some on the left have pitched the idea following Republicans rushing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to take the seat of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon who died last month

Biden, for his part, has said he is not a fan of so-called ‘short wrapping’, and it is far from certain that Democrats can win back the majority in the US Senate

Yet Ducey signed a bill that did just that at the state level in 2016, raising the Arizona Supreme Court from five to seven. As a result, Ducey has appointed more judges than any other governor in the history of the state

Ducey said the situations are not the same as Arizona’s system of selecting judges allows him to appoint them only from a list sent to him by a commission that questions and reviews the judges. candidates

Arizona judges also face a « detention » election, a process that is essentially a formality No state Supreme Court judge has ever lost a detention election

“It’s apples and oranges,” said Ducey, comparing state and federal courts “We have a merit-based selection process in Arizona, and I’m not the one who selects the judges presented to me »

The same year in Georgia, then-Gov Nathan Deal signed similar legislation raising that state’s Supreme Court from seven to nine seats Supporters said the move was necessary due to the people and the economy growing state

But the expansion allowed Deal to leave his conservative mark on the court by appointing the majority of his judges when he left office

Democrats, including then-minority leader Stacey Abrams, opposed the expansion She questioned the need to add seats without seeing the effects of other changes lawmakers have made brought to court responsibilities

« To simultaneously increase the size of the field without really understanding the need, I find it problematic, » said Abrams, who two years later narrowly lost a candidacy for governor « There are still political concerns about court appointments and the positions these new judges would take »

Some of the state-level prosecution efforts came in response to controversial court rulings In 2007, a Republican state senator from the Florida Republican majority legislature proposed and then withdrew a proposal aiming to more than double the number of seats on the state Supreme Court after the court struck down a bill on school vouchers The legislation said the court ruling « betrays a lack of respect by the majority for the separation of state powers »

A Republican lawmaker in the then Democrat-controlled Iowa Legislature proposed to expand the state’s High Court in 2009 following a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in the state

That effort failed, but conservatives in the now-majority GOP Iowa legislature last year upended the way judges are chosen for court Republican government Kim Reynolds signed a law that effectively gave him a majority on the commission that appoints judges and potential judges

The change was backed by the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group in Washington that has spent millions on ads asking for Barrett’s confirmation

« The people of Iowa want fair justice, so why are the trial lawyers more weight than you? » the group said in a video supporting the changes in Iowa

The state-level actions are part of a larger, longer-term conservative effort to reshape the justice system Outside groups have played a growing role in state court races in recent years They accounted for a quarter of all spending in the 2018 state Supreme Court elections and, in some states, topped candidates, according to figures compiled by the Brennan Center for Justice

« There are so many stories to tell from so many different states of lawmakers using whatever tools they have to give themselves and their allies an edge in the most important courts of state, « said Douglas Keith, lawyer at the Brennan Center

Republican Party, United States Supreme Court, 1937 Courts Reform Bill, United States Senate, Democratic Party, Amy Coney Barrett

News from the world – United States United – Despite rhetoric against Democrats, GOP took over packing state courts
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Despite the rhetoric against the Dems, the GOP supported the state packing courts
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