Sununu and Other Republican Governors Oppose Packing the Supreme Court

by | Jul 2, 2021 | Opinion, Special Alerts

“Packing” the US Supreme Court Means the Beginning of the End of the Constitutional Republic.
“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

The US Constitution Articles 1, 2 and 3 established three co-equal branches of Federal Government.
The current composition of the US Supreme Court has stood at 9 Justices for over 150 years.
The President and the Senate can fill vacancies, and members of both parties in power have done so.
The “judicial temperament” of the Court reflects of the mix of conservative and liberal Justices seated by members of both political parties to fill vacancies over the years.

Advocacy groups have long looked to the Courts to direct policies that elected legislatures (or the general public) would not support, making the balance between conservative (Original Intent of the Constitution) and liberal (Living Constitution) Justices important in their pursuit of their objectives.

In April, Pres. Biden signed an Executive Order to form the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States to explore reforming the Court, specifically including the consideration of court packing.

What Is “Court Packing”?
“Court packing” is when two branches of government unilaterally change the judicial disposition of the US Supreme Court by expanding it and seating Justices that that reflect the outlook of those in power.
His consideration of such action suggests that the President doesn’t consider the US Supreme Court as a co-equal Branch of Government.

Twenty Republican governors issued a letter opposing any effort to pack the U.S. Supreme Court.
Governor Sununu and 19 other Republican Governors highlighted how any attempt to increase the number of Justices on the court for partisan gain will manipulate the Court’s decisions.

Read the text of their letter below or click here to see the letter.

June 29, 2021
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Biden,

As Governors, we oppose any attempt to increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court of the
United States. In short, “court packing”—or increasing the number of Justices to manipulate the Court’s
decisions—would be unprecedented, unproductive, and unpredictable. The highest court in our land has
seated nine justices for more than 150 years and has persisted throughout our nation’s history, dispensing
justice even when faced with landmark, controversial decisions.

The American form of government is one that depends on the sovereignty and cooperation of states. Each
term, the Supreme Court hears criminal and civil matters that are critically important to our states and to
the people we represent. Historically, cases before the Supreme Court have served as the last legal defense
of state sovereignty, protecting states and our citizens from federal overreach. As Governors, we have a
vested interest in ensuring that our nation’s highest court remains independent and free from political
pressure or partisan power grabs.

In April, you signed an Executive Order to form the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the
United States to explore reforming the Court, specifically including the consideration of court packing.
Opposition to the composition or past decisions of our Court should not be the impetus for radical change
to a bedrock branch of our nation’s government.

We urge you to withdraw this proposal from consideration. Legal scholars from across the country and on
both sides of the political aisle agree that court packing will breed perpetual court packing—it will never
be enough. Each partisan shift will result in seats added to the Court until the Court has lost not only its
independence but its authority. The end result of court packing would lead to inconsistent rulings that
undermine the legitimacy of the Court and fail to guide our nation and serve our states.

The Court’s decisions dramatically impact the citizens of our states every day. As governors, we stand
united to preserve a system that has served us well for over a century and a half, contributing to a just
society that is the envy of the free world. As your Commission issues reports in the coming months, we
call on you to rebuke any attempts to pack the Supreme Court for political gain and to protect the integrity
of the judiciary as a coequal branch of government.

Governor Kay Ivey
State of Alabama
Governor Doug Ducey
State of Arizona
Governor Ron DeSantis
State of Florida
Governor Brian Kemp
State of Georgia
Governor Brad Little
State of Idaho
Governor Eric Holcomb
State of Indiana
Governor Kim Reynolds
State of Iowa
Governor Tate Reeves
State of Mississippi
Governor Mike Parson
State of Missouri
Governor Greg Gianforte
State of Montana
Governor Pete Ricketts
State of Nebraska
Governor Chris Sununu
State of New Hampshire
Governor Doug Burgum
State of North Dakota
Governor Mike DeWine
State of Ohio
Governor Kevin Stitt
State of Oklahoma
Governor Henry McMaster
State of South Carolina
Governor Bill Lee
State of Tennessee
Governor Greg Abbot
State of Texas
Governor Spencer Cox
State of Utah
Governor Mark Gordon
State of Wyoming

Posted by GST Chairman Ray Chadwick


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