According to an ABC News poll 31% of Americans view the current Supreme Court as “too conservative”, far more than say the court is “too liberal”:
“Three in 10 Americans say the Supreme Court is “too conservative,” up sharply from two years ago and now substantially more than call it “too liberal.” Just under half say the court is about balanced ideologically in its decisions…Considerably fewer, 18 percent, call the court too liberal. Forty-seven percent say it’s balanced, down from 55 percent in 2005.”
Interesting. Given that the next president could have a couple of appointments right off the bat, a Democratic president could still actually do very little to change the makeup of the conservative branch of the court, given that the justices most likely to be replaced are liberals like Stevens, Souter or Ginsberg.
So what could be done to “stop” the court, if the people really began to revolt against the conservative activism of the Roberts court? Jean Smith has some interesting ideas:
“When the court overreaches, the Constitution provides checks and balances. The method most frequently employed to bring the court to heel has been increasing or decreasing its membership. The size of the Supreme Court is not fixed by the Constitution. It is determined by Congress…there is nothing sacrosanct about having nine justices on the Supreme Court.
“If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant.”
Wouldn’t that be a nice and fitting end to 25 years of the Federalist Society, Republican politicians and other such “learned” thinkers trying to alter the court? Their desire to “ideologically change the court permanently” could, by legislative fiat, be wiped out with a simple stroke of the pen.
Cross posted from AoF