The Supreme Court currently has nine members sitting on the bench since 1869. Since 1869, the rotating nine judges have dolled out landmark cases, including Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education. At stake is the question of court-packing. Some of you may be familiar with the term, others may be confused by the term. Yet others may not really care. Put it simply, court-packing is basically adding more seats to the Supreme Court in addition to the nine, which makes this far more interesting than the reader may have thought of.
Court-packing, for starters, is political. Take the case of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt, to throw out the window justices that were getting older and more antagonistic to his plans, pushed forward with a gamble to expand the Supreme Court. Obviously, Roosevelt’s gamble fell into shambles. Today, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death has reignited the fight to either keep the Supreme Court with nine justices or to expand the number of seats. Republicans argue it is a power grab by Democrats to push through with their outright liberal policies easier. Democrats, on the other hand, retort that Republicans have had a nice ride appointing conservative justices all along and they have had enough. Both parties say the other party has political motives.
To be fair, both parties have political motives. Republicans back in 2016 did not take into consideration a vote for Merrick Garland. Mr. Garland, to remind readers, was Obama’s Supreme Court nominee right before he left the Oval Office. Senate Republicans used the same excuse Democrats are using now, that confirming a Supreme Court nominee right before election day was wrong and un-American. Mr. Garland was replaced by President Trump’s nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch. Gorsuch, so far, has been instrumental in shifting the balance of ideologies in today’s Supreme Court.
Democrats are currently shouting out foul play in Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice. Let’s face it, though, Democrats would more than likely have done the same if the power structure in Capitol Hill and the White House favored them. In 2016, Obama may well have nominated Mr. Garland as a political move to discredit Republicans in future references (something that is now hunting Republicans).
What is the answer Democrats have to all of this? Court-packing. Yet again, another obvious political play by Democrats on their part. In this instance, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the left is deceptively using the name of Justice Ginsburg to make a case for court expansion. Nine justices throughout the past decades have moved the country forward in a progressive direction. Surely there have been mishaps, but we have learned as a country and so has the Supreme Court. Add one, two, three, or four more justices and we will still be disappointed by some decisions. Justices appointed by Democrats or Republicans have always flipped to one side or the other. It does not, therefore, make any sense to add more to the bench. Democrats will soon have their chance to appoint whoever they want to the bench.