What is Court Packing?
Court packing, a term that is being thrown around since President Trump announced he would be nominating a justice to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat and wants a confirmation before the election. Most Americans have never heard of this idea. So, what is Court packing?
The “court packing plan,” or the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 was proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He had been struggling with the Supreme Court to pass his New Deal legislation, but they kept declaring it unconstitutional. The Judiciary Act of 1869 laid out the Supreme Court as we know it today, with one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. During the Great Depression which saw the largest expansion of government in US history, President Roosevelt thought he could get the US Supreme Court to pass his New Deal if he could add more justices who would vote his way. His Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 would allow him to appoint one additional justice, up to a maximum of six, for every member of the court over the age of 70 and 6 months. Most of the Justices who had been striking down the New Deal legislation were over 70 years of age. President Roosevelt never saw his bill pass. The Senate Judiciary Committee held it up and delayed hearings. It was held for 165 days. The committee’s motto was “no haste, no hurry, no waste, no worry.” Through attrition and other means, President Roosevelt eventually got a majority on the court who were favorable to his New Deal and the rest is history.
Court packing might come before us again, maybe in a new form if Joe Biden wins and the Senate switches its majority to the Democrats. The Democrats are proposing this if they win the election because they believe the US Supreme Court has more conservatives than liberals. They have not announced a specific plan on how many Justices they would add nor any stipulations. They just want to be able to add more who would vote in favor of the Progressive Left. A very dangerous game to play.
To learn more from our history in hopes of living better today, start your education with court packing in 1937. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Procedures_Reform_Bill_of_1937
- Tyler Beaver is a Conduit News contributor, U.S. Air Force veteran and co-founder of The Red Pill Project, a non-profit for legal defense of civil liberties. He is the creator of Open Range, which brings agricultural producers together with global markets and facilitates protein, grain, and crop sourcing.