April 12, 2022

What Does Packing the Court Mean in Politics

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, recently introduced a resolution to Congress that would limit the court to nine judges. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted to add members to the court in the 1930s. Roosevelt proposed revamping the court by adding a new judge whenever a judge was 70 and did not retire. Congress did not approve FDR. I have a lot of sympathy for that argument. But it`s also possible that this won`t happen, that court bundling will only lead to more constitutional hardball games and allow a future president to enforce laws that make it fundamentally impossible for him and his allies to move away from power, with an overcrowded Supreme Court that isn`t willing and can`t stop him. That`s pretty much what happened in Poland, Hungary, Honduras, Venezuela and Turkey. It could happen here as well. “I wouldn`t fit into the court package. We had three judges. The next time we lose control, they will add three judges. We are starting to lose all credibility of the court,” he said during a debate last year.

It also notes that the Audiencia practically does not exist and that there is therefore no Supreme Court before which justice can be sought. If the reactionary right is unwilling to accept this idea, which will almost certainly not be due to short-term political calculations, Democrats must use the power conferred on them by the Constitution to seize the Supreme Court, protect legislation demanded by a majority of Americans, and hopefully convince their opponents to: that the current structure of the judicial system requires a two-party solution. “Faris comes to the conclusion. While I understand the argument that packing the courts would help improve that balance somewhat, I think it is ultimately bad for democracy. Yes, in theory. The Constitution does not specify the number of judges at the Court. Congress can change the number by passing a bill that is then signed by the president — and the number of judges has changed in American history. To ensure that laws to change the size of the Supreme Court are not only passed, but also signed, coroners should control both the houses of Congress and the executive branch.

In addition, they should change the legislative process itself. The report`s arguments apply today as they did more than 80 years ago. Judicial packaging is simply “an attempt to change the course of the court`s decision” by “neutralizing the views of some of the current members.” However, the rejection of certain judicial decisions does not justify the destruction of the judiciary itself. “It is better,” they said, “that we wait for an orderly but inevitable change of personnel than to impatiently overwhelm them with new members.” He wasn`t a fan. He sees it as a maneuver that could come back to sue the Democrats if they are not in power. What prevents a Republican president and the Republican Congress from expanding it even further to get what they want? This was a feature of the Reconstruction era. “We will live on this day to repent,” he said last year in the primary. While some previous research has characterized all of these changes as a power grab designed to strengthen the power of the party that controls Congress, the presidency, or both, Braver argues that history is more complex and that the changes of 1807, 1837, and 1863 were motivated by a now-defunct practice called “circuit riding.” On February 5, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt announced a controversial plan to expand the Supreme Court to 15 justices, ostensibly to make it more effective.

His critics immediately accused Roosevelt of trying to take over the court and thus neutralize supreme court justices who were hostile to his New Deal. A step in turn to increase the size of the Supreme Court and then appoint several new judges who would change the balance of opinion on the Court. Roosevelt proposed packing the court in the 1930s, when several conservative judges were inclined to declare parts of his program, the New Deal, unconstitutional. Congress did not allow for an increase in the number of judges, and Roosevelt was criticized for attempting to undermine the court`s independence. At the time, the Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and White House, so things weren`t going so well for FDR and its New Deal. The law was never enacted by Congress. In addition, Biden has served in the Senate for more than 30 years and has a reputation for respecting institutions and the way things are done. He is an unlikely candidate for the first president in about 150 years to expand the court. And his campaign seems to be aware of the risk that even talking about it could scare off moderate voters — who may not be as conservative as the way the Supreme Court is leaving, but who also don`t want to play with the way things are done. Ginsburg was against it for this reason.

Packing the court will always bring only short-term political victories at the expense of the long-term health of our republic. On September 22, 2020, searches for courtroom packaging increased by 23.225% compared to the previous week following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The judicial packaging was unpopular with the public when Roosevelt proposed it, and there`s a reason why many constitutionalists and political scientists still condemn it to this day. In an email to The Fix, Josh Chafetz, a law professor at Georgetown University, reportedly said, “Since judges can effectively only be fired through impeachment, the idea of court packaging is to dilute their voice.”

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