Reproductive rights advocates who dubbed themselves the Just Majority came to the Chevy Chase Library parking lot Tuesday as part of a nationwide effort “to raise alarm” about what they consider the U.S. Supreme Court’s erosion of citizens’ rights.
The legislative and nonprofit leaders want to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th) joined the group and criticized the court for striking down voting and women’s rights and treating corporations as if they have political and religious rights. He is a cosponsor of the Judiciary Act, which calls for expanding the number of justices.
Maryland Sen. Ariana Kelly, D-16, joined Raskin in condemning the court, adding, “The American people deserve better.” Confidence in the Supreme Court “is at an all time low,” she declared. “It’s not just because they are conservative, some of them are corrupt.”
Also speaking in the library parking lot were Planned Parenthood of Maryland President and CEO Karen Nelson, Pro-Choice Maryland Action Vice-Chair Priya Hay-Chatterjee, and reproductive rights advocate Karen Finney.
Planning Parenthood in Maryland and the District of Columbia have 50,000 patients, including women who have travelled from 26 states for abortion care, Nelson said, adding, “Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right.”
Finney said the court rulings have come down particularly hard on minorities. She questioned why Black women continue to fight for their rights from the times of slavery and segregation to the today’s rulings on reproductive rights and gun control.
Speakers also criticized the justices for not agreeing to ethics standards that must be followed by other judges.
“There’s a fundamental cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over this Court, and we need to restore the legitimacy of the Court by engaging in legislation that will shore up its integrity,” Raskin said. “We need to be talking about increasing the number [of justices.] The Supreme Court is in one place and the vast majority of the American people are in a completely different place in terms of defending voting rights, free and fair elections, democracy and reproductive freedom.”
The Just Majority coalition tour began in Boston in April and has made 20 stops.
I’m joining the #JustMajority coalition with @RepRaskin @finneyk and advocates from @PPMaryland @PCMAction in their call to #ExpandTheCourt. Americans deserve a Supreme Court that upholds the law, not undermines it. Watch the press conference live here: https://t.co/ONdmY1R8Lo
— Ariana Kelly (@SenArianaKelly) June 20, 2023