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The United States Supreme Court has numbered nine justices for the past 150 years. But that number is not fixed. With the Democrats controlling the House and Senate during the Biden presidency, they could add justices to the Supreme Court. But would court packing destroy the Court as an apolitical judicial institution? This is the crucial question Stephen Feldman addresses in his provocative book, Pack the Court! He uses a historical, analytical, and political argument to justify court-packing in general and Democratic court-packing more specifically.Republicans and Democrats alike profess to worry that court-packing will destroy the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a judicial institution by injecting politics into a purely legal adjudicative process. But as Feldman's insightful book shows, law and politics are forever connected in judicial interpretation and decision making. Pack the Court! insists that court packing is not the threat to the Supreme Court's institutional legitimacy that many fear. Given this, Feldman argues that Democrats should pack the Court while they have the opportunity. Doing so might even strengthen the American people's faith in the Court.
Stephen M. Feldman is the Jerry W. Housel/Carl F. Arnold Distinguished Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Wyoming. He is the author of The New Roberts Court, Donald Trump, and Our Failing Constitution; Free Expression and Democracy in America: A History; and Please Don't Wish Me a Merry Christmas: A Critical History of the Separation of Church and State, among other titles.More About Stephen M. Feldman