Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and 52 GOP chamber members told the Supreme Court on Thursday that Republicans would beat back efforts by Democrats to "pack" the nation's highest court.
"For our part, we promise this," McConnell said in a statement that quoted from the letter. "While we remain members of this body, the Democrats' threat to 'restructure' the court is an empty one.
"We share Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg's view that 'nine seems to be a good number,'" McConnell continued. "And it will remain that way as long as we are here."
Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have called for increasing the size of the Supreme Court, primarily South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who wants the number increased to 15.
The court currently has a 5-4 conservative majority.
Ginsberg, 86, a Democrat who is among the court's three senior justices, said last month that she opposed changing the court's current make-up.
In their letter, the Republican senators opposed a Democratic amicus brief to the court filed earlier this month by five senators challenging New York City's gun laws.
The Democratic brief suggested that should the justices uphold the gun regulations, voters might ultimately demand that the Supreme Court be "restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics."
However, the Republicans noted in their letter that "the implication is as plain as day" in the brief: "Dismiss this case, or we'll pack the court.
"The Democrats' amicus brief demonstrates that their court-packing plans are more than mere pandering," the Republicans argued. "They are a direct, immediate threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans."
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