Congressional Democrats just received some bad news.
A new poll has found that Americans remain firmly against court-packing.
This particular poll was conducted online by Ipsos on behalf of Reuters. On April 15th and 16th, 1,003 adults were asked to respond to various questions regarding the U.S. Supreme Court, including whether they support court-packing, that is, increasing the number of justices on the court.
The pollsters found that 42 percent of respondents were against the idea, that 38 percent were for it, and that 20 percent were unsure about it.
This poll took place at about the same time that some House Democrats introduced a bill to expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to thirteen. This would allow President Joe Biden to appoint four liberal justices, which would swing the court back in the favor of the liberals.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, probably well-aware of public opinion on the matter, has publicly declared that she will not put the bill before the House for a vote. Instead, she has deferred to Biden’s comission, which, among other things, is analysing the court-packing idea.
Many argue that court packing is a bad idea because it would end up turning the court into another Congress, since each time a different political party gains power they would simply expand the court adding more of their own justices. These days the sole argument of those for court-packing seems to be that it is necessary to counteract the court’s conservative majority.
Pollsters also found that Americans seem to be in favor of term limits for Supreme Court justices.
63 percent of American indicated that they are in favor of such term limits, while 22 percent preferred to stick with lifetime appointments and 15 percent said they were unsure about the issue.
The argument for lifetime appointments is that it helps to keep the courts non-partisan, since the lifetime appointment means that a justice never has to worry about his or her popularity with the public.
Among some, this argument has been losing ground in recent years as the Supreme Court has clearly become more and more politicized. Now, those in favor of term limits argue that, since the court has become politicized, then we should start treating the justices more like politicians. Requiring them to retire so that they could be replaced by the president in power is a step in that direction.
The results of the Ipsos/Reuters poll are believe to be accurage within plus or minus four percentage points.