What is 'Court Packing' and What Happened When FDR Tried to Expand the Supreme Court?

Do you support or oppose court packing?

  • 1,087
    SneakyPete
    04/17/2021

    The term “court packing” originated in 1937 in response to a proposal by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that would've increased the number of Supreme Court justices after the nation’s highest Court had rejected some of his New Deal initiatives as unconstitutional. The term has come to be associated with efforts to expand the Supreme Court to add more justices friendly to the majority’s views. The number of Supreme Court justices isn’t set by the Constitution and is subject to legislation approved by Congress and signed by the president, so “court packing” efforts are constitutional. The size of the Court has ranged between five and 10 justices, and the number of justices changed six times before it settled at nine justices in 1869. During the Civil War, the Republican Congress expanded the Court to 10 to let Abraham Lincoln make more appointments, but after the war reduced it to eight to prevent Andrew Johnson from making appointments. The number of justices was then restored to nine justices in 1869 after Ulysses Grant took office. The most serious challenge to the nine justice Supreme Court in the past 151 years came from FDR’s court packing plan in the late 1930s. SneakyPete. 4. 17. 21

  • 34.7k
    jimK
    04/11/2021

    Joan D: Thanks. Whenever anything at a large scale or which has broad influence over many people or many things gets out of of balance, it must be corrected to restore some form of balance to the natural order. This same principle applies to climate change, it is true for the forces that spawn volcanoes or tsunamis or cause large sink holes to form, it is true for political systems and true for the judgements that drive our system of justice. Imbalances will correct themselves eventually, but the ‘natural’ corrections can be harmful even to life as we known it - just as they can be harmful to the system of government which we have depended upon for 350 years. … … … Deliberate acts can restore balance as well with far less undesirable consequences and faster than just relying on nature to take it’s course. Our government is currently being driven into imbalance by many forces mostly related to greed, self-interest, or political opportunism. The Supreme Court is a the top of our legal system and it’s ‘yin-and-yang’ balance must be restored for it to be an effective body that represents our country and it’s populous. … … … There are many ways to get there and that is why I totally support Biden’s non-partisan effort to find ways to restore this critical branch of our government into a proper, productive and equitable balance - without stacking the deck in the opposite direction. And I totally oppose the intentional efforts by McConnell and the Republicans to destroy that balance for near-term political advantage (and also for denying the need to address the climate crisis driven primarily by fossil fuels because they are profitable in the very near term with no regard for the long term generational costs).

  • 1,741
    Joan
    04/11/2021

    Again, jimK, your comment solidified my opinion on court packing. My nasty, vindictive side (due to the trumplican’s bastardizing the process by ramming through Amy Barrett) wanted Biden to put at least 2 Justices on the SCOTUS but for the good of our judicial system, it must remain at 9. 9 IMPARTIAL Judges.