US:What is Court-packing and why are Democrats considering it?


Team Udayavani, Oct 4, 2020, 12:57 PM IST

After the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democrats are considering court-packing, or expanding the bench of the highest court in the country. The idea is to ensure that the court does not remain strongly to the right for the next 30-40 years or so, since judges serve for life.

As reported by NY times, Expanding the court  or court packing,is an idea commonly associated with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pushed legislation in 1937 that could have broadened the Supreme Court from nine to as many as 15 justices.

Roosevelt’s motive was to shape the ideological balance of the Court so that it would cease striking down his New Deal legislation.

As a result, the plan was widely and vehemently criticized. The law was never enacted by Congress, and Roosevelt lost a great deal of political support for having proposed it.

According to Indian Express, Judges to the Supreme Court of the United States are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate (the upper chamber of the US Congress). Currently, the Republicans control both the Senate and the presidency, which is what some Democrats are bothered by

The report further states, Democrats are worried that SCOTUS could get even more conservative after Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat. With Ginsburg’s death, SCOTUS now has five justices that were nominated by a Republican president and three that were nominated by a Democratic president. This means that the court already has a conservative majority and if Senate approved Trump’s nomination to fill Ginsburg’s seat, it would be Trump’s third justice appointment during his tenure

 

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