The infamous Roe v. Wade draft opinion that leaked out of the Supreme Court has prompted progressives to call for a SCOTUS “reform” that would add justices to the nine-justice panel.
Let’s take a breath for a moment.
I, too, am appalled at what the draft opinion suggests, that the landmark abortion legalization ruling is likely to be overturned in a formal court opinion to be issued in June or July.
However, I happen to oppose the idea of packing the nation’s highest court more justices. It is a knee-jerk reaction that, in truth, isn’t likely to be approved by the current Congress.
President Franklin Roosevelt floated the idea in the 1930s. Court packing was as unpopular then as it appears to be now.
I am a believer in precedent. Overturning Roe would violate the court’s policy of letting “settled law” stand. Moreover, it would constitute judicial activism that conservatives say they oppose.
But do we really want to take a drastic step such as the one being pitched now to expand the ranks of the SCOTUS? Those who want to pack the court point to the possibility that other rulings — such as the decision to allow same-sex marriage — might be wiped out.
A more rational approach would be to elect congressmen and women more to the liking of those who are appalled at the draft opinion. Over time, there could be sufficient pressure applied to Congress and to the courts to keep their mitts off issues that should be allowed to stand as they were delivered.
Pack the court? Now? No.