Professor Belkin: 'You Cannot Have a Democracy When One Side Is Stealing Courts'

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Photo of all nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court
Photo by Fred Schilling

USA TODAY -- The clash over courts has taken a back seat to other issues, from the economy and health care to immigration and climate change. But liberal activists argue that a failure to counter Trump’s drive to create a conservative judiciary could doom the entire liberal agenda.

“You cannot have a democracy when one side is stealing courts,” says Aaron Belkin, a Political Science professor at San Francisco State University whose brainchild, Take Back the Court, advocates adding four justices to the high court's nine-seat bench.

His solution also calls for expanding the size of federal circuit and district courts to compensate for seats Republicans blocked Obama from filling. To achieve any of it, Democrats first would need to win the White House and majorities in Congress — “a very steep lift,” Belkin admits.