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The Democrat battle to neutralize former President Trump policies’ does not stop. Now it’s time for the judiciary. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that expanding district and circuit courts is how the Democratic Party has decided to stand up to the “Republican” majority on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).
Rachel Maddow, host of Rachel Maddow Tonight on MSNBC, asked Schumer how Democrats plan to deal with this reality. “For decades, the judiciary will be packed with conservatives. How do you try to reclaim some of that ground?” to which Schumer responded that they have “traditionally” increased the number of judges on the lower and circuit courts. “I have in the city of Buffalo a huge [court], they don’t have enough judges.”
Schumer announces that the good news is that they can bring judges to the bench with only fifty-one votes and report them out of committee. In addition, there will be many vacancies coming up, and “there are a lot of Democratic-appointed judges who did not gain senior status.”
According to Schumer, judicial proceedings take a long time in the lower courts. “There’s a long line before you can go to the Supreme Court. Because they don’t have enough [judges], so, we could expand them [the courts].”
The reality the Democrats are taking advantage of
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), more than 425,000 cases were filed in federal district courts and appellate courts last year. “These cases include discrimination and civil rights claims, criminal prosecutions, environmental and consumer protection litigation, bankruptcy cases, challenges to government power, and lawsuits to hold companies accountable for wrongdoing.”
The Association explains that when there are not a sufficient number of judges, the resolution of important legal proceedings is delayed. “Persistent vacancies in a busy court increase the time litigants and businesses wait for their day in court and increase the backlog of cases that perpetuate delays in the future.” Further adding to the pressure on the federal judiciary, the ABA explains, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, dozens of new judges are needed to handle the increased caseload.
By seeking to take advantage of this reality, Schumer shows that the Democrats will go after the judiciary as well, in addition to having the legislative and executive branches under their control to “balance” the appointments Trump made during his Administration. The Democrat assures that in this context, with so many vacancies that delay deliberation in the courts, they can fill many spaces to “rebalance” the judiciary after former President Trump “packed” it with conservatives.
Schumer’s position is much more timid on the Supreme Court. When Maddow asked about the controversial proposal to expand SCOTUS, Senator Schumer stated that that is “the big one,” hinting at the complexity of that situation.
The senator said that President Joe Biden has created a commission to study increasing the number of seats on the Court to more than nine judges. The commission, Schumer said, will issue a report in 180 days.
Schumer declined to say whether he supports the commission or packing the Court. On the contrary, he said he will wait for the commission’s report before doing anything else.
Former President Trump appointed two hundred and twenty-six federal judges to the appeals and district courts, according to the Federal Judicial Center. He also appointed three judges to the SCOTUS: Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017