Nation’s top abortion business calls for SCOTUS court packing and term limits

Planned Parenthood has join a growing chorus of leftist voices calling for reforms to the federal court system, arguing that the current state of “abortion rights” is “emblematic” of a broader challenge within American democracy.

Announced Sunday, Planned Parenthood’s proposal includes calls for court packing, term limits, and ethics requirements for judges. When asked, CEO Alexis McGill Johnson did not provide details for the number of justices or length of term limits.

He told MSNBC host and former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that the abortion giant supports other voices, like NARAL, that have called for reforms.

“I think it’s very important to call for structural reforms because that’s what actually sustains progress,” he said. “It’s one thing to call for a justice to come down for whatever reason but the truth is that the way the system has gotten requires us to engage in structural reform in a different way.”

McGill Johnson added that Planned Parenthood “felt it was important for us to lend our voice at a moment where abortion rights are so clearly symbolic of the kind of challenge that we see within our democracy.”

Current judges, he said, are “out of step” with the majority of the American public, and the “legitimacy” of the courts is “in question.”


His comments came after years of heavy judicial losses for the pro-abortion left. The Trump administration has added a historical number of judgesincluding three of the Supreme Court justices who decided to overturn Roe v. Wade last summer.

Over the years, polling has shown varying opinions on abortion but has indicated somewhat conflicting opinions on Roewhich effectively allowed abortion up to birth with its ruling on Doe against Bolton. Although some polls show support for RoeAmericans have historically favored at least some restrictions on abortion, and continue to do so, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Pollwhich found that 66% of Americans think that abortion should only be allowed, “at most, within the first three months of pregnancy.”

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll also found that the proportion of Americans who support life “until the time of cardiac activity at approximately 6 weeks” laws is increased from 27% to 40% since overthrowing the Roe.

As president, Trump also nominated Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who recently upheld the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone — a decision now before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Voting rights aside, McGill Johnson affirmed Kacsmaryk’s decision in his interview with Psaki. “The fact that you have, again, the only judge in Texas who can now bring cases — you can set up shop there, bring cases to the Fifth Circuit, which is also conservative, and all the way to the Supreme Court now , with a conservative majority. .”

“Find a court you want to hear your case,” agrees Psaki. McGill Johnson replied, “Exactly,” adding, “and that’s a way to avoid … you know, sort of popularly elected opinions.”

McGill Johnson’s comments and proposals point to a view contrary to the traditional understanding that judges should uphold the law rather than follow public opinion. Part of the reasoning behind maintaining lifetime terms for judges is that they should not be incentivized to worry about how their decision might harm their electoral prospects.

Both Psaki and McGill Johnson seem to be referring accusations that the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents doctors in the abortion pill case, has “judge shopped” or sought judges to rule over them. Kacsmaryk is the only judge in that district court, making it a single-judge division — something Planned Parenthood is also targeting on its list of reforms.

“Interest groups can handpick judges who align with their views — often judges they helped confirm — and then deliberately send them cases, knowing they will rule against reproductive freedom, equality of gender, LGBTQ+ liberation, access to health care, and civil. freedom,” the group claimed on Sunday press release. And indeed, the abortion industry itself (including Planned Parenthood) has “shopped for judges who conform to their views” in countless cases.

Court reforms have been pushed by the left for years, and became especially prominent after the nominations of Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett. Congressional Democrats have proposed a court packing bill but the idea has encountered roadblocks from President Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who reportedly said he will not bring the measure to the floor for a vote.

As a 2020 presidential candidate, Biden has resisted the idea of ​​packing the courts. In 2021, President Biden assembled a reform task force more broadly, but the members rejected who took a packing position in the Supreme Court. After the Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to reverse Roethe white house clarified that Biden still opposed packing the court.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll performed afterwards Dobbs both showed a majority of Americans (54%) opposed to expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Those results are in line with the previous one votealthough a Marquette Law School poll from September showed up a slight majority (51%) of Americans support expanding the Supreme Court.

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