REP. WATSON COLEMAN, FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT CECILE RICHARDS CALL FOR MAJOR JUDICIAL REFORMS AMID SUPREME COURT ETHICS SCANDALS
Ewing, NJ (April 29, 2023) – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) called for major judicial reforms including Court expansion at a press conference outside Trenton City Hall Saturday morning.
The Congresswoman was joined by former Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards and former Biden Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States Commissioner Caroline Fredrickson. The press conference was the latest stop on a national bus tour sponsored by the ‘Just Majority’ campaign, whose slogan is Democracy Demands A Fair And Ethical Court. The campaign, first reported in the New York Times, is sponsored by a set of leading national reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, civil rights, and judicial reform groups. They call for reforms including ethics rules and Supreme Court expansion.
Congresswoman Watson Coleman highlighted news about allegations of potential ethical misconduct against Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts. The event comes as public trust in the court has plummeted following ethics scandals and concerns about partisan rulings on issues including gun violence prevention and abortion rights.
"For decades, conservative politicians and their powerful donors have worked to undermine democracy and used the Supreme Court to do it,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “Seemingly every month or so a new scandal emerges, from Justice Thomas's gifts, to the sale of property by Justice Gorsuch to lawyers with cases before the court, to Chief Justice Roberts refusing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The result has been a cratering of Americans’ faith in the court. It now has the lowest approval rating in its history. There are many reforms we can explore: a code of ethics, term limits or cycling of judges to the lower courts, but only expansion would immediately restore balance to a court controlled by an unaccountable, unethical majority that has put their personal political bias above the law."
“Our democracy is under attack – our right to control our bodies, our right to be safe from rampant gun violence, our right to vote and have fair representation, and our right to a democracy where elections can reflect the will of the people,” said former Planned Parenthood Federation of American President Cecile Richards. “It is beyond time to reform this Court so that we can restore the faith of the American people and advance justice and equality. We need to restore balance to the Supreme Court including expanding the Court. This is not a tomorrow thing; this is a today thing. People’s live are at stake.”
“The only reform that’s going to deal with the crisis that we’re in is to expand the Court,” said former Biden Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States Commissioner Caroline Fredrickson. “By expanding the court and adding new justices we would actually be able to rebalance the court so we can have a court more in line with what we understand the Constitution to be.
Footage of remarks is available here.