Posted 31 days ago
I didn't know that the Supreme Court "can be shrunk or expanded by a simple majority in Congress." But Osnos does point out that changing the composition of the court does bring up an issue of trust with the voting public. Whether we like it or not, nearly all Presidential Adminstrations have refused to "pack the court." The last person to really threaten to do so, F.D.R. , seems to have done so to spark political pressure more than actually altering it. This is reasonable: the system is checks and balances. Supreme court judges should curb some policies, but they also must be aware that the court can be expanded at any time politically. Conservatives seem to have fixated on this belief that the Court is untouchable, but that is nowhere in our founding documents. In fact, the Supreme Court was largely relegated to a powerless institution at the founding of the republic, described in Jill Lepore's history, These Truths.
Expanding the Court obviously sets a dangerous precedent, but the threat to do so is also necessary in ensuring the checks and balances necessary for our republic. Making a comission to do so seems like a warning that Biden is giving out; he surely doesn't want to change the Court, but if they impede his policies on clearly partisan basis, he would take the action necessary. People might throw their hands up at this, but I honestly think it's how the branches of government were intended to work, and Biden seems to be a doing a good job at running it smoothly.