Published October 26, 2021
The conservative majority on the Supreme Court has a host of controversial cases before them this term that, should they rule against progressive interests, will inevitably result in a fury of calls to “pack” the court with more members.
Those justices should not let fear affect their judgment. These are almost certainly empty threats.
To begin, Americans do not support expanding the court. A recent Politico-Morning Consult poll shows only 40 percent approve of such an idea while 41 percent oppose it. Thirty-nine percent of independent voters oppose the idea, compared with 36 percent who support it, and Americans older than 40 years old — who vote at much higher rates than younger voters — oppose it by large margins. Democrats are having a hard enough time passing President Biden’s domestic agenda, which has stronger public support. They are not going to ram through an expansion of the court in defiance of public opinion.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.