What is and isn’t ‘court packing’

A bill came to be known as President Franklin Roosevelt’s “court-packing plan,” a phrase coined by Edward Rumely. On Feb. 5, 1937, Roosevelt announced a plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics immediately charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court and thus neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his New Deal.

During the previous two years, the high court had struck down several key pieces of New Deal legislation on the grounds that the laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch and the federal government.

During the Obama era, Mitch McConnell was the majority leader, stalled the nomination of Merrick Garland, who is extremely political, to be on the Court. This is not “court packing” and it’s called “politics.” Obama did have two of three of his nominee successfully nominated by a one-sided Senate.

The Supreme Court is to be the third branch of government, not the lapdog of the current administration. The Supreme Court is to be independent of political parties and events but it never has been throughout our history.

A recent letter to the editor claimed: “The Republican Party has become a power-hungry entity. Not for the good of the country, but for the sake of power.” This is also not fully accurate; both parties can be blamed for the same things.

I could not let the “fake news” pass as real history.

John Van Dalen

Everett

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