The Associated Press was forced to add an editor’s note to a recent story about the Supreme Court on Saturday, in which the outlet made it seem as if the Democratic strategy to pack the high court would “depoliticize” the bench.
The article, written by Iris Samuels, centered on a debate between Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Gov. Steve Bullock, his Democratic opponent in the upcoming election.
The AP’s original post reportedly read, “Bullock said that if Coney Barrett was confirmed, he would be open to measures to depoliticize the court, including adding judges to the bench, a practice critics have dubbed packing the courts.”
The report referred to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
The line about court-packing serving as a way to “depoliticize” the bench was removed to reflect the idea that it was not a statement of fact, but rather the political opinion of a Democratic lawmaker.
The editor’s note read, “This story has been edited to make clear that it is Bullock’s opinion, rather than a fact, that adding justices to the Supreme Court would depoliticize the court.”
The new line was changed to: “Bullock said that if Coney Barrett was confirmed, he would be open to measures including adding justices to the bench, a practice critics have dubbed packing the courts.”
Bullock went on to echo the AP’s sentiments and agreed that adding more justices would pave the way for less partisanship within the judiciary.
“We need to figure out the ways to actually get the politics out of the court,” he said. “That’s anything from a judicial standards commission, or we’ll look at any other thing that might be suggested, including adding justices.”
Daines, who said he’ll support Barrett’s confirmation, claimed adding justices to the bench would threaten gun rights and other Constitutionally protected liberties.