Earlier this month, former Attorney General Eric Holder said Democrats should consider expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court. While he wasn’t the first Democrat to invoke the FDR-era proposal of “court packing,” he was arguably the most high profile to float the idea.
As liberals contemplate the possibility of a conservative majority that could last for a decade or more, given President Trump’s appointment of two young conservatives, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, court packing is developing into a major subject of debate. Candidates competing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary are considering the idea to varying degrees. Some have argued for adding justices to the court, while others have embraced the idea of term limits for justices. Still others have focused on ways to depoliticize what they believe has become a partisan court.
…Republicans have effectively made appointments to the Supreme Court and the judiciary an organizing principle of the party, and saw how their voters coalesced around President Trump on the issue in 2016. And Senate Republicans have been confirming Trump nominated judges at a record pace. After Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Democrats have sought to motivate their voters in a similar way, with groups like Demand Justice focused expressly on the courts.