The idea of “court packing” the US Supreme Court has been getting attention lately, in the wake of Mitch McConnell and the Republican controlled Senate ramming through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett less than a month before the presidential election.
The media seems intent on pressing Joe Biden — including during Biden’s town hall last night — to announce whether he would favor adding new members to the Court if he is elected.
There is a good argument to be made that the Republicans unpacked the Supreme Court by refusing to consider Merrick Garland, bringing the size of the court down to 8 seats in 2016. This then allowed them to repack the court during Donald Trump’s administration, appointing three justices.
This doesn’t include hundreds of other federal court judge appointments that were delayed during Obama’s administration, but were then rushed through during the Trump administration, stacking the federal court system with staunch conservatives who are barely qualified for the job.
Even worse, the media seems to be ignoring that Republicans have been doing lots of court packing with little notice at the state level. In the last decade alone there have been at least 10 attempts at court packing of state supreme courts, and nearly all of them have been driven by the GOP. Two of those attempts (both by Republicans) have succeeded, in Arizona and Georgia.
The bottom line is that Republicans are all for shenanigans in the court system when it benefits them, but denounce it when Democrats even think about using it to restore balance in the federal courts. Why is the media playing along with this?