Progressive Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., on Thursday invoked the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot as justification for the Democratic push to pack the Supreme Court.
Jones, who co-sponsored the House bill aiming to add four seats to the court, posted a video claiming democracy is “in crisis” and blaming the nation’s highest court.
“This crisis didn’t arrive overnight or by accident,” Jones said in the video that showed images of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots. “The Supreme Court helped bring us here. In fact, the court has been actively dismantling our democracy for years.”
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Jones claimed that the court “invited a torrent of dark money to flood our electoral process and set the stage for billionaires and special interests to control our politics.”
“It gutted the protections of the Voting Rights Act and paved the way for a new era of racist voter suppression,” Jones continued in the video.
Jones also claimed that the Supreme Court “helped install [former President] Donald Trump in the White House” who then in turn appointed “more justices who are hostile to our democracy.”
Trump won the 2016 election with 306 Electoral College votes in a process that does not typically directly involve the Supreme Court at all.
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According to the National Constitution Center, the last time the Supreme Court directly weighed in on a presidential election was in 2000 and prior to that it was the 1876 race that saw Rutherford B. Hayes take the White House.
The congressman then called on people to “break the far-right, anti-democratic grip on our democracy” and “expand the Supreme Court.”
“And together, we can finally restore government by the people, instead of government by the powerful,” said Jones.
Jones published his tweet and the video as the Democrats push to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court’s bench from nine to 13.
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Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., joined House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., and Jones outside the Supreme Court on Thursday to announce the legislation.
“We’re here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken,” Markey said. “It is out of balance. It needs to be fixed.
“Expanding the Supreme Court rights the wrongs the Republicans have done to this great court,” Markey added. “Expanding the Supreme Court is equal justice and will ensure equal justice is dispensed to all Americans.”