Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a registered Democrat who was nominated to the court under former President Bill Clinton, said this week that the push from the political left to pack the courts will only “diminish” the public’s confidence in the court and the rule of law and will hurt the court’s ability to serve as a check against the other branches of government.
Breyer, who made the comments on Tuesday in prepared remarks for a speech at Harvard Law School, is one of the court’s three consistently liberal judges. He said that the court’s power depends on “a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics,” according to his remarks, which were obtained by The Washington Post. “Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”
Breyer reportedly said that the purpose for his lecture was to “make those whose initial instincts may favor important structural or other similar institutional