News Release

Packing the Court and Filling the Streets

MARJORIE COHN, marjorielegal@gmail.com
Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, recently wrote the piece “Ginsburg’s Legacy Is Vast, But a Trump Appointee Could Overturn Her Best Rulings.”

She said today: “The Supreme Court now has eight members — three liberals and five conservatives. Until Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Chief Justice John Roberts had been the swing vote. Roberts, concerned with the legacy of the Roberts Court, voted with the liberals to strike down an abortion restriction and uphold the Affordable Care Act. A Trump appointment would substitute a right-wing member for Ginsburg, resulting in a 6-3 conservative majority. They would most likely overrule Roe v. Wade and strike down the Affordable Care Act.

“As it increasingly appears Mitch McConnell has the votes to proceed with filling Ginsburg’s seat before the election or inauguration, the Democrats must play hard ball. They should pledge that if Joe Biden wins the election and the Democrats assume control of the Senate, they will raise the number of members on the Supreme Court from 9 to 13. The Constitution does not prescribe how many members will sit on the high court so Congress can raise the number.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle@illinois.edu
Boyle is law professor at the University of Illinois. He was recently on an accuracy.org news release “Supreme Court: After Ginsburg — Barrett?” and was interviewed on the program “Sojourner Truth” with Margaret Prescod on KPFK. He was also recently quoted in the Guardian.

He said today: “We cannot rely upon the Democrats to do the right thing here. And the Courts have already been stacked with Federalist Society nominees by Trump — 200 of them. People need to take to the streets in peaceful nonviolent protests on a massive scale if they want to stop this. It was mass public revulsion at Bork that stopped his nomination. Unlike Bork, whoever Trump nominates will be slickly packaged by the White House handlers. People should not be fooled by that. This is a far rightwing agenda at play that seeks to overturn meaningful primacy of the law and equality for all under the law.

“Otherwise it will have to be Supreme court-packing if and when the Democrats get both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. Franklin Roosevelt threatened up to 15. Sounds good to me.”

The Washington Monthly just published the piece “What Drives Leonard Leo’s Campaign to Remake the Courts?” that examines the role of the Opus Dei-founded Catholic Information Center on K Street in Washington, D.C.