The Congress-centric Case Against Court-Packing

     A large and increasing chorus of progressive activists, along with some prominent Democratic office-holders and candidates, have called for Democrats to add seats to the Supreme Court after a hypothetical Democratic takeover of the White House and the Senate.  They argue that highly conservative Republican appointees have a majority on the Court only because Republicans have broken longstanding norms, particularly by denying a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland for purely partisan reasons.  They believe that the norm against partisan manipulation of the Court’s size implicitly assumes that these other norms remain in force.       Even within its own terms, Court-packing only makes sense if the Democrats can maintain consistent control of at least one chamber of Congress or the White House.  If Democrats gain control of Congress and the White House and pack the Court, Republicans will be eager to return the…

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