- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sen. Mazie Hirono said Tuesday that the controversial notion of packing the Supreme Court with more seats is actually “long overdue court reform” that would make it more objective.

The Hawaii Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said during an appearance on CNN that she supports calls from some Democrats in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death that the party should expand the Supreme Court to more than nine seats if they take back the White House and Senate in November.

“This is long-overdue court reform, as far as I’m concerned,” Mrs. Hirono said. “And I’ve been thinking about court reform and what we can do regarding the Supreme Court to make it so much more objective. And so, this is not something that a lot of us have not thought about.

“But on the other hand, after the election we only have a serious discussion about any of these things if the Democrats take back the Senate,” she said.

Mrs. Hirono made the comments when asked by CNN to speculate why Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who repeatedly opposed court-packing in the past, has refused to say whether he would oppose the idea as president in the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s death.

“What I get from Joe Biden is, first and foremost, he has to get elected. Let’s keep our eye on the ball,” Mrs. Hirono said Tuesday. “Kamala Harris has to get elected. Democrats need to get elected to the Senate. We need to take back the Senate so we can address some of the hypothetical things you’re talking about, but which I have been thinking about for years now.”

Mr. Biden, whose past arguments against court-packing fell in line with Justice Ginsburg’s before her death, declined to say Tuesday whether he still opposed the idea now that President Trump is looking to fill the vacancy before the November election.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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