Inside Pete Buttigieg's Plan to Overhaul the Supreme Court - NBC Bay Area
Decision 2020

Decision 2020

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Inside Pete Buttigieg's Plan to Overhaul the Supreme Court

Although other Democratic candidates have called for Supreme Court reform, no other candidate has made it central to his or her rationale for running and proposed presidential agenda

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    Jeff Chiu/AP
    Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Saturday, June 1, 2019.

    As Democrats agonize over a spate of state laws restricting abortion rights and even a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, one 2020 presidential candidate is putting an ambitious, long-shot plan to reform the Supreme Court front-and-center of his campaign, NBC News reports.

    Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has talked about his plan to overhaul the high court since his first days as a candidate. In short, it calls for expanding the number of justices from nine to 15, with five affiliated with Democrats, five affiliated with Republicans, and five apolitical justices chosen by the first 10.

    Buttigieg hasn’t ruled out other possibilities for court reform, but says the 15-justice plan is “the one that I find most intriguing.” Supreme Court experts, though, have raised concerns about whether the proposal is constitutional, as well as whether it could backfire by reinforcing the perception that there are Republican and Democratic justices.

    In an NBC News interview in front of the Supreme Court, Buttigieg said he would support “whatever Supreme Court reform will depoliticize this body” and stop the court from being viewed as “an almost nakedly political institution.”

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    Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, and European Ambassador Gordon Sondland will appear before Congress this week to testify on efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. NBC's Tracie Potts reports.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 14, 2019)