The Atlantic Interviews Professor Belkin on His Campaign to Expand Supreme Court

Monday, September 28, 2020

THE ATLANTIC -- Aaron Belkin, a Political Science professor at San Francisco State University and the executive director of the think tank the Palm Center, is grateful to see prominent Democrats finally coming around to the plan he’s spent the past year trying to advance. In 2018, Belkin founded the advocacy group Take Back the Court in response to Trump’s appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The trouble for Belkin and other Democrats is their goal’s political feasibility — and not just because the party has to win the Senate and the White House first.

“We don’t have time for an academic conversation about alternatives, given that there’s no time left on the climate-change clock and that democracy is all but dead,” Belkin said in The Atlantic’s Q&A. “Campaigning on simple, clear, straightforward ideas is important. Court expansion is something that everyone understands. Term limits look great on paper, but that’s not going to rebalance the courts. Term limits would not protect desperately needed change, like climate-change legislation, from [being struck down by] the court.”