Podcast | The argument for Democrats to pack the Supreme Court

Elie Mystal tells us why expanding the court isn’t an outlandish idea and how it might work.

The Supreme Court bench

The bench of the Supreme Court is draped for the death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sept. 19, 2020. (Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/AP)

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last month, her death marked the beginning of a fresh debate over the future of the Supreme Court. But the biggest question of that debate wasn't who would take her place. 

President Donald Trump was expected to nominate one of a list of conservative figures that he had previously made public. Soon after, he named Amy Coney Barrett, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly made public his plans to put that nominee up for a vote before the election, all but assuring that the court would remain decidedly conservative for years to come.

The biggest question, rather, was what Democrats were going to do about it. The answer, says Elie Mystal, is to pack the court.

On this week's episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, the justice correspondent of The Nation tells us why he believes Democrats must embrace the idea of adding seats to the court and filling them with liberal justices, even if that seemingly radical act undermines the court's legitimacy.

Plus Crosscut reporter Hannah Weinberger discusses the cascading impacts the wildfire smoke is having on Washington state. 


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