Fearing that the Supreme Court could swing reliably to the Right if President Trump gets reelected, leftists are now openly pushing the idea of court-packing for the day that Democrats occupy the White House again.
On Monday, the far-left HuffPost touted a new academic study from political scientist Aaron Belkin of San Francisco State University and James Druckman of Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research that openly encouraged Democrats to pack the Supreme Court, asserting the party would face little political fallout, if any at all. The study was funded by the progressive group Take Back the Court, which has openly championed court-packing as a solution to a conservative judiciary.
In the study, participants were asked to choose between two hypotheticals: a “status quo” scenario and a scenario in which a Democratic Party candidate proposes court-packing to “bring greater balance to the court” while the Republican Party candidate laments how it would be “a threat to the independence of the judiciary and the rights of all Americans by radical liberals trying to change the rules so a few cities in New York and California can impose their will on the rest of us.” According to the study, scenario two had almost no impact on people’s choices.
“Among the dozens of correlations reported in the study, none indicated any statistically significant relationship between candidate endorsement of court expansion and consequences for the 2020 election,” reported HuffPost. “The only statistically significant finding is that when a Democratic candidate endorses court expansion, GOP voters come to feel 0.5% warmer toward the Republican Party.”
“Aside from that, candidate endorsement has no statistically significant impact on actual behavior, including the likelihood of voting or the likelihood of voting for a Democratic or Republican candidate,” it continued. “In other words, when Democratic candidates endorse court expansion, there is no impact on election results.”
Belkin believed that the study will likely push Democrats into mainstreaming the idea of court-packing so that it will no longer exist on the fringes.
“Judicial reform will be necessary to take our democracy back, and our data show that there is no reason for leaders to shy away from saying what needs to be said,” Belkin told HuffPost. “This is the time to address the threats we face explicitly and head on, and not bury our heads in the sand.”
Even liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer have denounced the proposition of court-packing. Speaking with NPR, Ginsburg criticized past attempts to pack the Supreme Court, such as when President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to do so in the 1930s.
“Nine seems to be a good number,” the justice said. “It’s been that way for a long time. I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the Court.”
America largely agrees with both Ginsburg and Breyer, with a recent Rasmussen poll indicating that Americans would rather see term limits on the Supreme Court before they see court-packing.
All that aside, prominent Democratic Party candidates have begun floating the idea of court-packing or some version of it, at least. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) openly stated during a presidential debate that he would rotate conservative justices off the Supreme Court if he became president.
“I do not believe in packing the court,” Bernie proposed. “We’ve got a terrible 5-4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts and that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority I hope that will understand that a woman has a right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America.”