Planned Parenthood CEO Supports Supreme Court Expansion, Term Limits

The head of Planned Parenthood called for Supreme Court reforms, including expanding the number of justices and imposing term limits, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

CEO Alexis McGill Johnson told MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki” that the court’s decision last summer revoking abortion rights established under Roe v. Wade was an attack on democratic rights and freedoms.

It’s evident that the conservative-dominated court “now has been fully captured in so many areas,” McGill Johnson said, pointing to a pending appeal of a Donald Trump-appointed Texas judge’s decision outlawing Food and Drug Administration approval of the medication abortion drug mifepristone.

“We think it’s incredibly important now to both name the fact that we need to see expanded courts, from the lower courts all the way up to the Supreme Court,” McGill Johnson told host Jen Psaki. “We need to see term limits. We need to see ethical reforms.”

“It would be one thing to call for, you know, a justice to step down for whatever reason, but the reality is that the way in which the system has been captured requires us to engage in structural reform in a different way,” McGill Johnson continued.

Progressives, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also have called for court reforms, but the idea has never garnered enough support in Congress. Recent ProPublica reports showing Justice Clarence Thomas made real estate transactions and accepted luxury gifts from a conservative megadonor without disclosing them have ignited Democratic fury and calls for oversight over justices, who lack an enforceable ethics code.

Chief Justice John Roberts declined to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about ethics reform.

Planned Parenthood called for eliminating “single-judge divisions,” like the one in Texas where the mifepristone challenge was filed, and to “stop allowing interest groups to pick and choose where to file cases” in a statement on Sunday.

“Interest groups can shop for judges who align with their views — often judges they’ve helped get confirmed — and then deliberately send them cases, knowing they will decide against reproductive freedom, gender equity, LGBTQ+ liberation, access to health care, and civil liberties,” the reproductive-rights group said.