Readers React: Promising to enlarge the Supreme Court could backfire spectacularly on the Democrats

The Supreme Court in Washington.
The Supreme Court in Washington.
(Jessica Gresko / Associated Press)

To the editor: Op-ed article writer Harold Meyerson’s suggested strategy of the Democrats promising to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 11 justices if they take the White House in 2020 could backfire badly.

Let’s say the Democrats include court-expansion in their 2020 platform, but (gasp — no, it couldn’t happen!) President Trump wins reelection. What’s to prevent him from saying, “Hey, the extraordinarily low-IQ Democrats had a good idea for a change,” and then appointing the two new justices?

Am I missing something? Wouldn’t a better idea be term limits for justices that are staggered so each president gets one or two vacancies to fill per term?


A dose of predictability injected into the process would be a welcome change.

Sarah Tamor, Santa Monica


To the editor: Meyerson reverts to Plan B: When you’re losing the game, move the goalposts.

His strategy, for the Democrats to run on expanding the number of Supreme Court justices for the expressed purpose of giving the left control of one branch of government, is inane.

Furthermore, he suggests that Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska might stray from the party-line vote we expect from each side of the aisle, but he ignores the 10 Democratic senators from states that voted for Trump who are up for reelection in November.

If the vote to confirm retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s successor occurs before then, he can expect West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and perhaps several more, to approve Trump’s nominee.

John Tintle, Nipomo, Calif.


To the editor: Those who predict the overturning of Roe vs. Wade (and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey) are premature.

First, one of the justices may well write a “profile in courage” and not vote to overturn settled law.

Second, if the decisions are overruled, the opinion will focus on what has always been the Achilles heel of Roe: By what means did a matter that should have been reserved to the states, by reason of the 10th Amendment, get to the Supreme Court?

Third, in California, New York and many other states, there is legislative sanction of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. Those statutes almost certainly would not be affected by any decision overruling Roe.

In summary, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling, and the abortion-rights partisans (of which this writer is one) should wait until there is an actual decision before complaining.

Nathaniel J. Friedman, Beverly Hills

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