John Fetterman’s top aide is outspoken court packing activist: ‘This is all about power’

Sen.-elect John Fetterman’s, D-Pa., incoming chief of staff has repeatedly called for Democrats to expand the Supreme Court to ensure liberal rulings.

Adam Jentleson — who previously worked in top roles for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and for multiple liberal organizations — has argued that a conservative majority on the Supreme Court would cause suffering. He has stated that Democrats must fight back by expanding the number of justices on the court.

“There’s no downplaying the suffering [Justice Amy Coney Barrett] can cause from the bench. But to get her there, McConnell laid bare that this is all about power and Dems are poised to gain a lot of power a week from now. We have to vote,” Jentleson tweeted on Oct. 26, 2020. “Then Dems have to use the power we give them to expand the court.”

“If you are not willing to reform the filibuster and expand the court, you are not willing to do what it takes to win this fight,” he added in a Sept. 1, 2021 tweet. “If we keep playing beanbag while they play hardball, the results will be more of this. It’s that simple.”

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Fetterman hired Jentleson, who has been advising the incoming senator during his transition, to be his chief of staff, Politico reported on Friday. Jentleson was most recently the executive director of the Battle Born Collective, a progressive consulting group he founded, and had also recently worked for left-wing groups Democracy Forward and Center for American Progress.

However, Fetterman vowed during his campaign to oppose court packing and attempted to establish himself as a moderate candidate compared to his Republican opponent Mehmet Oz. Fetterman stated during the Democratic primaries that Democrats shouldn’t “rig the rules simply because we do not like the outcome,” according to the local media outlet Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

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But Fetterman could be forced to cast a consequential vote on the issue as prominent Democrats continue to push for a Supreme Court expansion following the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett which gave the court a 6-3 conservative majority. 

Sen.-elect John Fetterman, D-Pa., handily defeated Republican opponent Mehmet Oz in the November midterm election.

Sen.-elect John Fetterman, D-Pa., handily defeated Republican opponent Mehmet Oz in the November midterm election. (AP Photo/Ryan Collerd)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and fellow Democratic Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey have signaled openness to court packing. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has introduced legislation alongside Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., that would increase the amount of Supreme Court justices to 13.

“Republicans stole the Court’s majority, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation completing their crime spree,” Markey said at the time. “Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our Constitution, this stands as one of his greatest travesties.”

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Fetterman’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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