Democrats Were Clear: ‘We Need Nine’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): ‘Every Day That Goes By Without A Ninth Justice Is Another Day The American People’s Business Is Not Getting Done’

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member: ‘The Court Needs Nine Justices To Function Properly’

Democrats Said 'We Need Nine'

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “The Supreme Court handles ‘the people’s business,’ as President Reagan put it. Every day that goes by without a ninth justice is another day the American people’s business is not getting done.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.6116, 9/27/2016)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “The court needs nine justices to function properly. It is vital to our judicial system.” (“Senate Democrats Converge Around Supreme Court Strategy,” CNN, 2/25/2016)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “In a few weeks the Supreme Court will start its new term with eight justices. We need nine. Major legal questions are hanging in limbo because the court is deadlocked on 4-4 votes.” (Sen. Durbin, Press Conference, 9/07/2016 Minute 2)

SEN. DICK BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): “And so there’s a duty to fill that vacancy, to make the system work. Our constitutional system depends on nine members serving on the Supreme Court…” (MSNBC, 2/15/2016)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): “This is not just some TV show, right. ‘Eight is Enough.’ Eight is not enough on the United States Supreme Court. We’ve seen these 4-4 decisions, we’ve seen less cases taken up by the court, the lower courts are waiting, waiting to get guidance from the Supreme Court on so many important issues.” (Sen. Klobuchar, Press Conference, 9/07/2016 Minute 4)

  • KLOBUCHAR: “I’m in the now -- and the now is we have a 4-4 Supreme Court. We have eight people when we’re supposed to have nine. We have cases that are very important that are coming before that are court.” (MSNBC, 3/24/2016)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “The Supreme Court of the United States has nine members, not eight. We need that ninth member.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 2/14/2016)

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): “The consequences of the Supreme Court being without all nine justices for so long can hardly be overstated. Most significant, a long-standing vacancy would compromise the Court’s ability to perform one of its most important functions, that is, establishing a uniform rule of law for the entire country.” (Sen. Shaheen, Congressional Record, S.981, 2/24/2016)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “What happens if there is a 4-to-4 vote? … It matters if the Supreme Court is not fully operational and gridlocks in 4-to-4 ties.” (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.981, 2/24/2016)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “With only eight justices instead of nine, the Court's decisions can deadlock with a 4-to-4 vote…. [T]here is a responsibility that we have in the Senate to ensure that we, in fact, have a full Supreme Court.” (Sen. Markey, Congressional Record, S.982, 2/24/2016)


Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, Senate Democrats