Democrats want to change the United States of America as we know it by uprooting the country’s constitutional process, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Monday.
“Constitutionally, the president has the ability until his last day in office to fill vacancies,” Graham told “Fox & Friends” ahead of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
“[Barrett’s] going to make it, and there is nothing unconstitutional. But what [Democrats] are talking about is expanding the court. We’re not packing the court, we’re making it nine. It’s been nine for 140 years.” Graham said.
The confirmation battle over Barrett has reignited calls to expand the U.S. Supreme Court should Democrats capture the White House and Senate in the November election — even though Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a strong opponent to the practice.
The Supreme Court has had nine justices for more than 150 years, but the Constitution does not require nine. Congress sets that number.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg told NPR in July 2019. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
But some Democrats argue that adding more justices to the nation’s highest court is an appropriate response to Republicans blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 on the premise that seats should not be filled in election years, and then rushing to fill a vacancy in the wake of Ginsburg’s unexpected death.
“This Republican hypocrisy is shameful but not surprising,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., tweeted. “If they violate their own precedent, we must expand the Supreme Court.”
GOP senators contend this year is unlike 2016 because the same party controls both the White House and the Senate. If Republicans confirm Barrett, whose hearing begins Monday, it would tilt the bench 6-3 in favor of conservatives.
Graham said that the Democrats want to “expand” the Supreme Court to “make it liberal.”
“They will literally change America as we know it. They will expand the number of the Supreme Court. They will abolish the electoral college, which means, Ainsley, South Carolina doesn’t matter anymore. New York and California pick the president. They’re going to make D.C. a state,” Graham said.
Graham went on to say, “It’s going to be a parade of horribles if we lose the House, the Senate and the White House. They are going to change this country so you won’t recognize it anymore.”
Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.