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Senate Dems threaten Supreme Court with restructuring
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Dems threaten Supreme Court with restructuring

High-profile lawmakers accused the top court of bending to political influence

A group of Democratic senators issued a warning to the Supreme Court of the United States this week, calling on the high court to "heal itself" or face restructuring.

What are the details?

Fox News reported that Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) delivered the "ominous and unusual warning" as part of a brief filed in a Second Amendment case relating to New York City gun laws.

In the document, the senators argued that a majority of Americans believe the Supreme Court has allowed itself to bend to politics — naming the NRA and the Federalist Society as having undue influence — and should be restructured to prevent such influence. The Senators also urged the court to drop the case and issue instructions for it to be dismissed.

"The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it," the brief read. "Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be 'restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.' Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal."

Sen. Whitehouse, who spearheaded the filing, issued a statement afterward saying that the "brief lays out what is increasingly clear to many Americans: a majority of the Supreme Court is acting as if it has been captured by special interests. The court is encircled by anonymously funded organizations seeking partisan political gain, not adherence to law."

Anything else?

The senators' threat comes as several high-profile Democrats have rallied around the idea of "court-packing," advocating for reforming how judges are selected and for expanding the panel. According to CNBC, the reform efforts gained steam last year after the contentious confirmation hearing of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and Sens. Gillibrand and Kamala Harris (Calif.) have all expressed support for adding justices to the Supreme Court, but frontrunners Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) oppose the court-packing plan.

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