SCOTUS Commission Report Renews Calls for Court Packing from the Left

Despite the final report of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court not endorsing court-packing, many on the Left see it as an opportunity to bring the issue to the forefront again. Two commissioners released an op-ed in the Washington Post following the release of the report titled, "The Supreme Court isn’t well. The only hope for a cure is more justices."

In the op-ed, Commissioners Nancy Gertner and Larry Tribe expressed a complete lack of faith in the institution of the Supreme Court and suggested that court-packing is the only cure to counteract decisions that they find politically repugnant—keyword, "politically":

Worse, measures the court has enabled will fundamentally change the court and the law for decades. They operate to entrench the power of one political party: constricting the vote, denying fair access to the ballot to people of color and other minorities, and allowing legislative district lines to be drawn that exacerbate demographic differences. As a result, the usual ebb and flow that once tended to occur with succeeding elections is stalling. A Supreme Court that has been effectively packed by one party will remain packed into the indefinite future, with serious consequences to our democracy. This is a uniquely perilous moment that demands a unique response.

None of the reforms that have been proposed precisely fit the problem that needs remedying. Term limits cannot be implemented in time to change the court’s self-reinforcing trajectory. And while much can be said in favor of the narrower repairs the commission addressed — such as increasing the transparency of the court’s proceedings, reducing its discretion over its docket or imposing constraints on its use of emergency procedures (“the shadow docket”) — none is adequate.

Offsetting the way the court has been “packed” in an antidemocratic direction with added appointments leaning the other way is the most significant clearly constitutional step that could be taken quickly. Of course, there is no guarantee that new justices would change the destructive direction of judicial doctrine we have identified; respect for judicial independence makes that impossible. Of course, successive presidents might expand the court further, absent an unattainable constitutional amendment fixing its size at a number such as 13. But the costs are worth the benefits.

Calls like these to pack the Supreme Court clearly only embolden Leftist lawmakers.

Again citing political reasons, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has come out in support of adding four seats to the Supreme Court:

“This radical court has reversed century-old campaign-finance restrictions, opening the floodgates for corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to buy our elections. It has reversed well-settled law that once required employers to permit union organizers to meet with workers,” Warren said.

“It has trampled on the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection by upholding a racist Muslim ban. It has twisted the law to deny Americans their right to a day in court, despite the clear intent of Congress. And it has gutted one of the most important civil rights laws of our time, the Voting Rights Act, not once but twice,” she continued. 

Warren said she was also concerned about forthcoming decisions that the Supreme Court might issues with regards to abortion and gun control, given their track record on previous cases.

“This court’s lawlessness is a powerful threat to our democracy and our country,” Warren wrote.

Senator Warren will certainly not be the last Democrat to propose court-packing in the coming months. Dangerous proposals like Warren's disguised as reforms should be opposed at all costs.