A group of congressmen, New York representatives Jerry Nadler and Mondaire Jones, have introduced legislation to expand the United States Supreme Court from the current nine justices to 13 justices.
Rep. Jones, who represents parts of Westchester and all of Rockland Counties spoke to PIX11 News about why he believes more justices should be added. He also discussed the latest mass shooting and police-involved shootings, explaining what needs to be done on the federal level.
Mass shootings in the U.S.
At least eight people died during a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis.
Many have looked to Congress to do something, but it never seems to truly happen. Will the recent mass shooting spark any change?
Jones said he is “hopeful” changes will be made, referencing the House of Representatives recently approving two pieces of common sense gun reforms — one of which would establish universal background checks and the other would end the loophole that would extend the time the FBI has to do its background checks before someone seeking to purchase a firearm is able to obtain one automatically.
Why aren’t they getting passed? Jones said the country has a filibuster from the Jim Crow era “that Republicans are weaponizing to prevent the American people from actually having saef regulations that would end gun violence.”
“I never imagined that years later mass shootings would become the norm,” the NY congressman said referencing the Columbine shooting in 1999.
“That is what happens when you have an anti-Democratic system that results in people being elected to Congress who are not representative of the average American viewing,” he said.
Jones said he remains hopeful that people will actually come around in the Senate and either repeal the filibuster or get Republican senators willing to vote in the best interest of the American people.
Recent police-involved shootings involving young Black and Brown men have sparked protests and unrest in America.
Jones said Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a bill called the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act.
However, he did say he was mourning the recent death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, which video of his encounter with cops was released.
“What do you have to do to survive a police encounter where the police officer is telling you something and you’re complying,” Jones questioned.
“If we can’t have protection out there, what can you do?”
Jones said the reforms need to be passed to make sure people are held accountable. “We know that when people know they will be held accountable,” their behavior changes.
Supreme Court expansion
As some Democrats call for the expansion of Supreme Court justices, Jones said “Our democracy is hanging by a thread.”
The country must restore power to the people and save our democracy by expanding the court
Jones also added the country has a 6-3 hyper partisan, and a court expansion would provide a balance.