Bill Maher said Democrats need only blame themselves for the politically lopsided state of the Supreme Court – because they counted on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg not dying.
On Friday night’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” the comedian/host talked with “OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say?” author Ben Sheehan about the growing – and controversial — conversation about expanding the number of Supreme Court justices, giving it a better ideological balance of liberals, moderates and conservatives.
Sheehan pointed out that the Constitution does not say how many justices must sit on the Supreme Court. In fact, he said, the number has gone up and down and up again throughout history.
“We started with six, then went down to five and then six and then seven and then nine and 10, down to seven and then back to nine,” where it sits now, Sheehan said. “We’ve been at nine since 1869. Again, all it takes — like a lot of things to change our government — all it takes is an act from Congress to change the number. So, the proposal is it give four more additional justices to make it 13.”
Maher said that although upping it by four would be perceived as a Democratic “power grab,” the GOP deserves it, after former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to even consider President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland nine months before the 2016 presidential election.
“That would look like a power grab, not that they don’t kind of deserve it because of the way Mitch McConnell and the Republican Congress completely f—ed the Democrats in a way that was completely unprecedented,” Maher said. “I don’t like the idea of politicizing the court. On the other hand, that is one of those things that I cannot stand, that they denied the president to pick — because that is fundamental rule.”
The Supreme Court lifetime appointment of justices IS in the Constitution, which Maher imply calls “bad.”
“Lifetime appointment is bad because I see with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we know that the Democrats are mad at her because–” Maher said, with Sheehan interrupting, “she didn’t step down.”
“And it’s their fault. Their plan was she doesn’t die. That’s not a plan,” Maher said, adding that liberal justice Stephen Breyer is 82.
“We heard that when Ginsburg was alive, Obama had her to lunch. And kind of, without saying, saying, ‘Hey, how’s your health? Where you see yourself for the next five years?’ Now they’re doing it with Stephen Breyer. There’s this kind of hinting…Crazy subject out of thin air, ‘What’s your cholesterol, Steve?'”