FILE PHOTO: People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington, U.S. March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday ruled out the idea of expanding the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court as proposed by some liberal activists, accusing Democrats of wanting to boost the number of justices merely to “catch up” with conservatives.
Trump has appointed conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the court since taking office in 2017, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority. Supreme Court justices are appointed for lifetime terms.
“I wouldn’t entertain that,” Trump told a news conference, referring to expanding the court. “The only reason they’re doing that is they want to try to catch up, so if they can’t catch up through the ballot box by winning an election they want to try doing it in a different way.”
“No, we would have no interest in that whatsoever. It’ll never happen. … I guarantee it won’t happen for six years,” said Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020 for another four-year term.
Some of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 have said they would consider adding more justices to the court or imposing term limits.
Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Will Dunham