To combat the partisanship of the Supreme Court, Cory Booker said his main goal is to target one of the root causes for the radicalization: the Senate.
In the first event in a series of conversations with the 2020 presidential candidates, hosted earlier this week by Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa Public Television, Booker received a question from a student about how Booker would handle a Supreme Court that has been heavily influenced by conservatives.
Booker said he wants to solve the problem, and he’s open to the two most popular proposals, term limits and expansion, but he wants to increase the number of Democrats in the Senate in order to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.
“One thing I do know is we Democrats have made a mistake,” he said. “Because we have not done the work to build the kind of majorities in the Senate we would need to never see this problem happen again.”
Booker said empowering Democrats is the first priority, getting Democratic candidates elected in states like Texas and Georgia, where large populations of potential Democratic voters live.
“We’re going to start winning permanent majorities in the Senate if we do the kind of pragmatic things that bring balance back to the Supreme Court,” he said. “The real work that we have to do starts in this very election, from here in Iowa to South Carolina, start winning Senate seats back so we can start getting sanity, rationality and pragmatism back to our courts.”
Previously, Booker has stated that he’s wary of the idea of expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court because Republicans could do the same thing when they won back the presidency.
As part of the Conversations with Presidential Candidates forum series, Booker was asked about a variety of topics by the moderator, David Yepsen, and through pre-approved questions from the audience.
Some of the other subjects Booker commented on were foreign policy and trade.
A woman whose son is in the Iowa Army National Guard Reserves asked how Booker would keep the country out of war and repair American alliances.
Booker said if he were elected, he would respect diplomacy and continue funding aid for the countries that need it for their own security.
“I’m going to be a person who always leads first with the strength of our diplomacy and the American might that comes from standing with our allies in trying to create peace in this world,” Booker said.
When asked what would make him a good wartime president if war became necessary, Booker said he would respect the duty of putting people’s lives on the line and listen to advisers.
“I think that the gravity of that responsibility is the greatest sobering challenge of any human being,” he said.
Booker was also emphatic about alliances when the topic was trade.
He said the United States should be teaming up to fight against unfair Chinese trade policies, and making them work in Americans’ favor.
“[Trump] doesn’t believe in America first, he believes in America alone,” Booker said.
People can watch the stream of the talk here. Booker also talked about climate change, healthcare, education, labor, immigration and the general economy.
by Nikoel Hytrek