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If the Democrats pack the Court it will destroy the SCotUS and America as we know it

Dennis Prager on

Attention readers: Dennis Prager co-authored this column with Tim Groseclose, a professor of economics at George Mason University, where he holds the Adam Smith Chair at the Mercatus Center.

Exponential growth. It's why plagues are so dangerous and compound interest is so wonderful.

It's also why the Democrats' flirting with court packing could destroy the Supreme Court and, with it, America as we know it.

The following is a reasonable scenario:

Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, which gives conservatives a 6-3 advantage (or 5-4, given that Chief Justice John Roberts has essentially become a swing vote).

Then, in January, having retained the Democrat-majority House, a President Joe Biden and a newly Democrat-controlled Senate decide to undo the advantage. Congress passes and Biden signs a new law expanding the Court to 15 members. Biden appoints six new liberal justices, handing the left a 9-6 majority -- a 60% advantage.

 

What happens when the Republicans regain power and they want a 60% conservative advantage? As a bit of algebra shows, to reverse the Democrats' 9-6 advantage, they'd have to expand the Court by 7.5 members. Of course, they can't nominate half a justice, so they'd probably round up to eight. Regardless, the Republicans, to gain a 60% advantage, must expand the Court by more than the Democrats did -- by eight, as opposed to six.

The parties would surely continue to insist upon a 60% advantage, meaning that, with each switch in power, they'd have to expand the Court's size by 50%. The key thing to note is that they would have to expand the court not by a constant number but by a constant percentage. This is what would cause exponential growth. If, for example, one side insisted on a 65% advantage and the other followed suit, they'd have to expand the Court by 86% at each switch in power.

How often would such switches in power occur? One occurred in 1992, when Democrats won the House, Senate and presidency. Others occurred in 2000, 2008 and 2016. And if the polls are right, another will occur in 2020. Such power switches occur about every eight years, perhaps slightly more frequently.

Let's err on the side of being less alarmist and assume that the switch would only occur every 10 years. Let's similarly assume that the parties would only insist upon a 60% advantage.

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