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Is It Time To "Pack" The Supreme Court?

Daniel Huizinga
Creative Commons
United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC

A lot of people are wondering if it's time to look at "court packing," and other court reforms, to address judiciary dysfunction that we can see playing out during this election and in the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

Look at what's happening with voting rights. The Supreme Court had been asked to intervene in several state decisions that would allow ballots postmarked by Election Day to be accepted in the first days after the election due to the high volume of mail-in ballots cast during a pandemic.  On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Wisconsin mail-in ballots could not be accepted after Election Day. On Wednesday, they refused to hear a fast-tracked plea from Pennsylvania Republicans looking to block a three-day extension, and refused to block rulings allowing North Carolina to extend their deadlines. 

In addition, voter suppression or intimidation tactics are happening in states like Nevada, Texas, and Michigan. And one week before the election, the mail is still slow

Lastly, states led primarily by Republicans, have been trying to pack their state supreme courts for a decade, mostly for partisan advantage.  

Do we need to amend the Constitution to protect against a minority no longer accountable to the majority of people they serve?


  • Marin K Levy is a professor of law at Duke University and author of "Packing and Unpacking State Courts," published in the William & Mary Law Review earlier this year. (@marinklevy)
  • Ian Millhiser is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he focuses on the Supreme Court and the Constitution. He’s the author of Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted. (@imillhiser)
  • Julie Suk is a Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Liberal Studies at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her new book is We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment (@JulieCSuk)

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to the show.

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