Sen. Chris Coons is calling for sweeping federal court reform following Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying there are “hundreds” of President Trump-appointed judges in the lower courts who are too right-leaning to be “allowed to sit peaceably.”
Mr. Coons, Delaware Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the comments during an appearance Monday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” saying Democrats need to have “a wide-open conversation about how we rebalance our courts.”
“Yes, the two Supreme Court seats that have been stolen through these processes that are wildly hypocritical have been used to jam through nominees,” he said. “We’ve got to look at our federal courts as a whole because we’ve seen hundreds of conservative judges put on circuit courts and district courts all over this country in the last four years, in many cases, too young, too unqualified and too far right to be allowed to sit peaceably without our re-examining the process, the results and the consequences. “
While Mr. Coons has joined several Democrats expressing support for packing the Supreme Court, or adding additional seats, his remarks Monday were the first from a Senate Democrat on making changes to lower courts as well, the New York Post reported.
The Republican-led Senate has confirmed a total of 220 Trump-appointed judges, who are given lifetime tenure, to the Supreme Court and the circuit and district courts.
While Mr. Coons did not elaborate on what kind of reform he proposes for the lower courts, the Constitution gives Congress the ability to shrink or expand the number of judges, meaning Democrats would be able to appoint more liberal judges if they take the Senate and White House next week, Fox News reported.