In an address to Harvard Law School students and faculty, Justice Stephen Breyer warned Democrats considering adding new justices to the Supreme Court to think “long and hard” about the consequences of such an action.

“[Those] whose initial instincts may favor important structural (or other similar institutional) changes, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before embodying those changes in law,” Justice Breyer said in his talk.

President Joe Biden nor Congress have formally moved to change the number of Justices on the Supreme Court bench, but this week established a commission to study potential changes in the court.

Following three Supreme Court appointments under former President Donald Trump, Democrats worry that the court where a majority of Justices favor conservative interpretations of the Constitution may obstruct Biden’s more progressive policy changes.


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Breyer, however, warned that even discussing the Supreme Court as though it is a political entity could lead to diminishing trust in the institution. “These considerations convince me that it is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution,” he said.

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