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Democratic group backs candidates for Congress who favor expanding Supreme Court

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The Demand Justice group has lamented Republican efforts in getting three justices on the high court under former President Donald Trump -- particularly Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett -- and how politically charged the whole process of confirming federal judges has become. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/681cb28a59c6a5797eb6d1bf60e00ffb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Demand Justice group has lamented Republican efforts in getting three justices on the high court under former President Donald Trump -- particularly Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett -- and how politically charged the whole process of confirming federal judges has become. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- A legal-focused Democratic group for the first time on Friday issued pledges of support for party candidates who looking to win congressional elections in November, and each of the endorsed candidates support expanding the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Demand Justice political action committee announced the endorsements for seven candidates for federal office, including incumbent Reps. Andy Levin of Michigan and Mondaire Jones of New York.

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The group has lamented Republican efforts in getting three justices on the high court under former President Donald Trump -- particularly Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett -- and how politically charged the whole process of confirming federal judges has become.

"Our courts have been captured by right-wing special interests," the group wrote in a tweet Friday. "We need Senate Democrats to be doing everything in their power to fill all vacancies with Biden judges before the midterm elections."

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Levin, the nephew of former Sen. Carl Levin, has been in the House since 2018 and is a former labor organizer. Jones won his first term in 2020 as one of the first openly gay Black members of Congress. Both are both running in redrawn districts this fall and Levin is running in a primary to succeed incumbent Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens.

The group is also endorsing five other candidates for the House -- Summer Lee in Pennsylvania's 12th District, Jasmine Crockett in Texas' 30th, Greg Casar in Texas' 35th, Delia Ramirez in Illinois' 3rd and Maxwell Frost in Florida's 10th.

President Barack Obama introduces Merrick Garland as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 16, 2016. Garland never received consideration for the appointment because Senate Republicans blocked any hearing for his candidacy. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

The makeup of the 6-3 conservative-majority Supreme Court is under more scrutiny now than it's been in recent memory -- mainly due to some of the last rulings the court delivered before its term ended last month.

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The court struck down legalized abortion nationwide in the landmark case Roe vs. Wade, rejected a widely-supported New York gun safety law and reined in the Environmental Protection Agency's power to restrict carbon emissions.

"With all our rights under attack, we need members of Congress willing to fight back against the hijacked Supreme Court," the group added in a tweet.

"These candidates represent the future of the Democratic Party and they understand the threat posed to our democracy by our out-of-control Supreme Court," Demand Justice PAC President Brian Fallon said according to The Hill.

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"Democratic voters overwhelmingly support Supreme Court reform, and we are proud to stand with these next-generation leaders who are campaigning on the kind of bold reforms these times demand."

Expanding the high court was a popular issue during the 2020 presidential campaign after then-President Donald Trump nominated and the GOP-held Senate quickly approved Barrett to the Supreme Court. President Joe Biden has taken steps to explore expanding the court, but has not yet taken firm action in that direction.

Gorsuch's move to the Supreme Court was also controversial, as that vacancy was left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland for that seat on the bench, but the Republican Senate blocked the move -- arguing that no president should nominate a Supreme Court justice so close to a presidential election.

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Senate Republicans completely abandoned that principle after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died six weeks before the 2020 election and swiftly confirmed Barrett.

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