Filling Supreme Court vacancies is not court-packing

Oct. 12, 2020, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to U.S. Sen. Chris Coons’ (D-Del.) dubious claim that confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court “constitutes court-packing”:

“Once again, Senate Democrats prove the old adage that whatever they accuse the other side of is what they themselves are doing or planning to do. The President exercising his power to fill the Ginsburg vacancy on the Supreme Court with Judge Amy Coney Barrett is not court-packing, it is fulfilling his Article II, Section 2 responsibility to ‘nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges of the Supreme Court…’ Court-packing, as every American history student in high school should learn, is an illegitimate attempt to increase the number of Supreme Court justices that has stood since 1869 in order to have those justices rule in favor of unconstitutional laws, regulations and actions.

“Republicans won the Senate election in 2014, and the White House in 2016, and elections have consequences. Presidents don’t serve for three years, they serve for four years. In 2016, when the Scalia seat became vacant, former President Barack Obama wasted no time in exercising his constitutional authority to attempt to fill it with Merrick Garland even though it was his last year in office, just as the Republican Senate exercised its right to just say no. Now the Senate is considering the Barrett nomination, as is their prerogative under the Constitution. It cannot be emphasized enough that filling a vacancy is legitimate, while creating vacancies for political purposes would do violence to the independence of federal courts.”


Letter to U.S. Senate to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Oct. 12, 2020, at

“Why Biden’s Threat to Pack the Supreme Court Matters,” By Catherine Mortensen, Oct. 9, 2020 at

“Obama didn’t wait to fill the Scalia seat in 2016, and neither should Trump wait to replace Ginsburg,” By Robert Romano, Sept. 26, 2020, at

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