by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she does not support Democratic proposals to add judges to the high court.
Democrats, including presidential candidates, have pitched increasing the number of justices to offset President Trump’s conservative appointments to the court.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” she told NPR on Tuesday. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Roosevelt proposed in 1937 expanding the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges.
“If anything would make the court look partisan,” she said. “It would be that — one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”
Ginsburg noted that there’s no required number of justices specified in the Constitution and the court has had as many as 10 justices and as few as five throughout history.
Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Kirsten Gillibrand have all expressed a willingness to increase the number of seats on the Supreme Court. Some have also proposed term limits for the justices.
Ginsburg said modifying term limits would be harder because “Our Constitution is powerfully hard to amend.”