“I hope he won’t do too much damage,” the retired liberal justice told CNN’s John Berman.
“I don’t think they should do that,” Stevens said of court packing proposals. “I think in time the court will straighten itself out. It may take longer, but I don’t think the answer is increasing the number of justices.”
Stevens said while he would not have made the same judicial appointments as Trump, he thought Trump was “getting advice from people who are knowledgeable about judges.” But when asked if Trump understood the role of the judiciary, Stevens responded flatly: “No.”
“I think he often speaks about them as Obama judges and other kinds of judges,” Stevens said. “But I think (Chief Justice) John Roberts was dead right when he said that there are only one kind of judges and they’re all working for the federal government.”
“I can say I do not expect to vote for the Republican candidate for president at the next election,” Stevens said. “I don’t know whether I’m a member of the party or I’m not. I’m not active politically.”
On two sitting justices
Stevens said during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation last year there was “merit” to criticism that the Trump’s nominee had demonstrated “potential bias.” He called on senators to focus on the problem and suggested Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.
Of course, after the contentious hearings were through, the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh, who has since settled into his position on the nation’s highest court.
Stevens told CNN that Kavanaugh was a “good judge” and had been doing a good job on the Supreme Court so far, but when asked if he regretted speaking out, Stevens said, “No, that’s really an entirely separate issue.”
“Perhaps I shouldn’t have said what I did,” he continued. “But I think his decisions will determine how good a judge he’ll be.”
“And I think she’s really in better health than people generally assume, cause she’s survived both cancer and a similar episode some years ago,” Stevens said. “And she — apparently, she has a trainer too.”