If FDR couldn’t pack the court, can Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer? Not likely. Since 1869, the court has had nine justices. The Constitution is silent, but history weighs heavily.
The number has remained stable because changing the number of justices every four or eight years with the political wind threatens to strip the highest court of the legitimacy it needs for its decisions to be respected (the U.S. Marshalls Service, the able and dedicated men and women you see in federal courthouses across America, is not an army that enforces decisions).
Besides, any action taken by Senate Democrats in January (assuming Democrats have a majority) to expand the court would almost certainly face a myriad of challenges, which would be decided by the very court they’re trying to strip of its power.
It is heartbreaking to see the court fall into the hands of the hardcore right. It is heartbreaking to know that after years of fighting to move things forward, to fight racism, to protect women…