Constitutional Scholar Rob Natelson Weighs in on Court Packing
KGVO News reached out to Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson with the Independence Institute to get his views on a proposed bill to add four more members to the U.S. Supreme Court, otherwise known as ‘packing the court’.
Natelson said no one with a clear knowledge of the Supreme Court thinks adding four more members is a good idea.
“Practically no one knowledgeable about the court says that we need such a change,” said Natelson. “Before she died, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the famous liberal justice, counseled against trying to add justices or to pack the court. More recently, another liberal justice Stephen Breyer offered the same advice, however there are folks in Congress who want to get what they want to get, and they want to upset the balance of what is now a very balanced court.”
Natelson challenged the notion that the court of 6-3 in favor of conservatives.
“From Justice Thomas, who is stalwart in applying the Constitution as it was understood by the founders, to Justice John Roberts, who is what we call a judicial minimalist, who wants to keep the court out of too much controversy, and the justices in between who, some of whom are quasi-originalists, and some of whom are more status quo people.”
Natelson looked into the future when there may once again be a Republican majority in Congress, and said those involved in court packing now are acting recklessly.
“They are really playing with fire, because what can happen when the Republicans take control of Congress, is the Republicans could increase the number of justices again,” he said. “Potentially they could cut the number of justices and put some of the more recent liberal appointees out of a job, or send them down to trying cases in the district courts.”
Natelson said the court should stand above partisan politics and administer the laws according to the U.S. Constitution.
“I believe the Supreme Court is too political as it is,” he said. “But if it becomes a political football the way this legislation threatens to make it, then that is going to have bad consequences for the rule of law, and it's going to increase the divisiveness in American life even more than it is now.”
Natelson is the author of ‘The Original Constitution; What it Actually Said and Meant’, and is now a weekly opinion columnist for the Epoch Times news site, in addition to his duties at the Independence Institute.
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