Democrats split on Supreme Court as confirmation hearings conclude

Congressional Democrats are at odds with one another as both confirmation hearings for Judge Am Coney Barrett and the 2020 presidential election wrap up ( Judge Barrett is expected to be confirmed without issue, however the long term implications could be greater. Progressives within the Democratic Party have threatened to pack the court if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected and they are able to take the Senate. The Biden/Harris campaign has declined to comment, saying the American public would know their stance once elected.

Even if they do take back the Senate and the White House, Progressive Democrats still have to get rid of the 60-vote legislative filibuster and then vote to increase the number of Justices. While polls currently show Biden winning the election, their lead in the Senate is slim, with chances of a them gaining a slight majority at best.

That being said, members within their own party have pushed back. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said, "I think the filibuster serves a purpose. ... I think it's part of the Senate that differentiates itself." Several other Democrats have spoken out against these changes, warning that they could be used against them if Republicans take back the majority afterwards.

Other Democrats have been more open to these ideas. If they want to fulfill these wishes they will need a united party to succeed. Many within the caucus will feel pressure if Democrats do in fact regain power, as expectations will be high. Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has even said, "As for ourselves, what I've said is we're going to win the election, God willing ... and then everything will be on the table. That's all. But we're not going to fall into the trap of debating that now."

Should the American public be concerned about these potential measures, or is this a step in the right direction?

Image Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

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