Professor Belkin's Proposal to Expand SCOTUS Reaches Democratic Presidential Candidates

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- The “court-packing” label carries reminders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s short-lived attempt to enlarge an equally conservative court in the late 1930s. A leading current proponent, Aaron Belkin, a San Francisco State Political Science professor, dubbed his advocacy group Pack the Court before renaming it Take Back the Court.

Semantics aside, Belkin says Democrats shouldn’t be intimidated by charges of injecting politics into the judiciary.

In a recent Pepperdine Law Review article, Belkin said back-and-forth efforts by both parties to maintain a judicial majority “may harm the courts’ legitimacy, but that may be a better outcome than passively allowing the GOP theft of the judiciary.”

Belkin proposes adding at least four seats to the Supreme Court — two to potentially outvote each of Trump’s appointees, he says — and enough new lower-court judgeships to make up for those Obama was unable to fill.