Media /

Whoopi Goldberg Claims Republicans 'Stacked' Supreme Court

Biden explored the expansion of SCOTUS upon taking office in 2021

Whoopi Goldberg Claims Republicans 'Stacked' Supreme Court

Whoopi Goldberg claimed Republicans "stacked" the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by appointing conservative justices to vacant seats.

The View’s panel discussed whether Justice Sonia Sotomayor should retire from the court during President Joe Biden's time in office, citing her age, to ensure another liberal justice would be appointed, to which Goldberg insisted Democrats did not participate in court stacking.

The actress made her remarks during a Thursday episode of ABC's The View.

"Democrats, we don't stack the court," she said. "We don't do that."

Goldberg conceded that a lot of Democrats were in favor of expanding SCOTUS in order to shift the court's political leaning from conservative to liberal.

"[Biden] won't do that, 'cause that's not how you run the government. That's his feeling," Goldberg said. "But Republicans ... were fine with the shenanigans that went on to stack the court."

Fellow co-host Sunny Hostin interjected Republicans "stole" two SCOTUS seats, referencing former President Donald Trump's appointment of justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Amy Coney Barrett in 2020.

SCOTUS was initially established as a six-member bench through the Judiciary Act of 1789. The court was first expanded to seven in 1807, nine in 1837, and ten in 1863. Former President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Judiciary Act of 1869 which returned the court to a nine-member bench, where it has remained to this day.

Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted to expand the court through the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which would have allowed the president to appoint one new justice for every sitting justice who surpassed the age of 70 and had not retired. The bill did not pass.

“This plan of mine is not attacking of the court; it seeks to restore the court to its rightful and historic place in our system of constitutional government and to have it resume its high task of building anew on the Constitution ‘a system of living law,'” Roosevelt said at the time.

The Senate Judiciary Committee commented on Roosevelt's plan at the time encouraging the bill's rejection.

“The bill is an invasion of judicial power such as has never before been attempted in this country," they wrote. "It is essential to the continuance of our constitutional democracy that the judiciary be completely independent of both the executive and legislative branches of the government. … It is a measure which should be so emphatically rejected that its parallel will never again be presented to the free representatives of the free people of America.”

In January 2021, President Biden established a presidential commission to study the expansion of SCOTUS, though a final report released in December that year did not recommend the court's expansion.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*