Court-packing and the Constitution
The Constitution provides that there must be a Supreme Court, but it does not set the number of justices — that number is set by Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1789 originally established a six-justice Court, and this number vacillated considerably during the nation’s first century. The number of justices briefly grew to 10 during the Lincoln administration, before finally settling at nine under President Ulysses S. Grant.
Already, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has called on the Senate to wait to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement until after the election. This is good and correct…
...it is also not far enough. Biden and Senate Democrats must lay out the stakes of the war to come now, in clear and unambiguous terms: If Republicans fill the seat, the next unified Democratic government—which could, in theory, come as soon as January—will abolish the filibuster and pack the Court.
Let’s Think About Court-Packing
Yes, it’s a dangerous tactic. But so is permitting a reality in which Republicans win rigged elections and the Supreme Court winks.
The Roberts Court isn’t just a deeply conservative body; it is a body at war with democracy itself. Republicans on the Supreme Court have hobbled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and unleashed a torrent of money upon our elections. They brushed off voter suppression laws, and turned a blind eye to partisan gerrymandering. One recent decision held that voting rights plaintiffs who allege that a law was enacted with racist intent must overcome a burden of proof so high that it may now be simply impossible to win such cases in the future.
Liberal groups back plan to expand Supreme Court
The move comes weeks before the high court is expected to hand down opinions on several hotly contested issues.