Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday called for “more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor” in response to Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s (D) interview with Cosmopolitan in which he called for Supreme Court additions along the lines of Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Buttigieg, who is experiencing a surge in Iowa as recent polls indicate, discussed the state of the Supreme Court in an interview with Cosmopolitan published Thursday. The South Bend mayor told the magazine that the “independence” and “integrity” of the Supreme Court is “especially important for LGBTQ rights” and walked through some of his proposals for reform designed “to stop the descent of the Supreme Court into becoming yet another political body.”
“My appointments will definitely be people who share my values. But when I’m talking about the structure of the Supreme Court, I’m talking about something deeper. I’m talking about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” he said.
“Because right now, every time there’s a vacancy, there’s this apocalyptic ideological battle and it hurts the court and it hurts the country,” he continued.
Buttigieg talked about his idea to expand the size of the Supreme Court in order to incorporate “more justices who think for themselves,” citing “Justice Kennedy or Justice Souter”:
So I’ve floated several ideas and deliberately kept some level of open-mindedness about which ones are going to work best. One of them would be to have 15 members, but 5 of them can only be seated if the other 10 unanimously agree. The idea here is you get more justices who think for themselves. Justices like Justice Kennedy or Justice Souter, and there are many legal scholars who think this could be done without a constitutional amendment under current law.
Sanders, however, disagreed and made it known that he is only interested in piling the court with ultra-progressive justices who are ideologically similar to Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
“Interesting, I’d like more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor,” Sanders tweeted:
Interesting, I’d like more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. https://t.co/zfv9U0Liut
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 24, 2019
Sanders and Buttigieg have largely avoided attacking each other on the campaign trail and are both experiencing a bit of a boost, recent polls indicate.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released on Thursday shows the Vermont senator in third place with 15 percent support, followed by Buttigieg, who garnered ten percent support.