Dictionary.com defines court packing as a noun with the following definition. “an unsuccessful attempt by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 to appoint up to six additional justices to the Supreme Court, which had invalidated a number of his New Deal laws”
The Supreme Court was established in 1789 by Article Three of the United States Constitution. An excerpt of Article Three Section One reads as follows.
“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”
It might surprise you to learn that prior to 1869 the Supreme Court has changed in size 6 times. It has gone from a low of Five to a high of Ten. Congress then set the number of the court to nine and it has remained that way since then. This of course means that congress has the authority to change the size of the Supreme Court. It would require the support of Congress and the President for this to happen.
So whats the big deal? There seems to be fundamental difference in thinking about what the Court does and it’s role in government. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Have accused President Trump of packing the court.
While this does not meat the definition provided you can see their point of view. Republicans have filled vacancies of the lower federal court with Judges at break neck speed.
President Donald Trump has nominated and the Senate has confirmed 53 Judges to the United States courts of appeals. He has nominated and Senate has confirmed 161 Judges to the United States district courts. He has three nominations and two confirmation on the United states Supreme Court.
This is not packing the court. Packing the court is when you add additional Justices to the body of the court to sway it to your point of view. It is the constitutional responsibility of the President to nominate judges and The Senate to fill vacancies on the court’s mentioned.
In the end it’s up to you to decide. If you like it the way it is or if you want it changed. This won’t be the last election and ultimately the power rests in the hand of the people.
By not answering the question it is easy to infer that yes a Joe Biden administration would expand the size of the Supreme Court and that’s why you should care!