The Return of Court-Packing

Cartoon criticizing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1937 court-packing plan.


For much of the period from 2017 to 2019, there was an active public debate over “court packing.” The first round of that debate was kicked off by prominent conservative law professor Stephen Calabresi, who (along with Shams Hirji) drafted a plan for Republicans to increase the number of lower-court federal judges, so as to enable Donald Trump to tilt the balance of these courts to the right with new appointments (for the record, I  strongly opposed their idea). With the 2018 nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to

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