No, that won’t do. For the “improvements” DeSantis envisions, Roberts, who has seen the court swing far right under his watch, has to go. Sotomayor’s time is about up as well, he suggested. “So it is possible that in those eight years, we have the opportunity to fortify justices … Alito and Thomas as well as actually make improvements with those others, and if you were able to do that, you would have a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last a quarter century,” he said, to what the Washington Post describes as “raucous applause.”
It would last longer than a quarter of a century, a recent theoretical analysis by Supreme Court scholars suggests. Republican appointees to the high court have outnumbered Democratic ones 42 to 12 since 1970. Democratic presidents couldn’t have a majority of the appointments until 2065, according to their extrapolations from the historical trend.
Should DeSantis, Trump, or any of the rest of the pack nipping at their heels, take the White House in 2024 there might not be a chance for another Democratic president for decades to come. Free and fair elections would be the first casualty in a second Trump term. DeSantis isn’t going to do any less. The Trump-packed Supreme Court could very well be willing to help achieve the goal of a permanent Republican regime. Considering the lurch to the right in recent years despite Democrats winning 7 of the last 8 national popular votes in presidential elections, we are already well on our way.
That makes the idea of court expansion to dilute the power of the conservatives packed on the court look positively reasonable and rational. And necessary.
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