Ruth Bader Ginsburg told interviewer she opposed packing the Supreme Court
"Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," Ginsburg said, according to NPR.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Attorney and legal commentator John Shu pointed out during an interview on "The Water Cooler" that the recently deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opposed the idea of packing the Supreme Court.
"Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," Ginsburg said, according to NPR. "I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."
Roosevelt's plan would have permitted him to appoint six more judges, enlarging the high court to 15 people, according to the outlet.
"If anything would make the court look partisan," Ginsburg said, according to NPR, "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.' "
Shu said that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris's refusal to answer whether they would add more justices to the current panel shows that they intend to pursue that course of action.
"The fact that she is not answering the question seems to me at least to be somewhat of an answer of what her and Biden would do," host David Brody said.
Shu agreed, and said that he believes the pair's unwillingness to answer "in and of itself is indicative that they hope to do so."
The attorney explained that the Constitution confers on Congress the authority to determine the number of justices on the nation's high court.
"George Washington in 1789 had six," Shu said, noting that "since 1869 we've had nine."
He said that "if the Democrats succeed in taking the Senate and taking the presidency—I think it's likely they'll keep the House—but if the Democrats succeed, I really am afraid for the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. I'm afraid that the Democrats will make the Supreme Court look like a political body, kind of like an extra, super legislature. And the courts are just not designed to do that."