First there was the Green New Deal, a plan from Democrats to transform the U.S. economy in what its backers say is an eco-friendly direction. The program’s name is an homage to the New Deal, liberal icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s plan to lift the country out of the Great Depression. Now, Democrats are considering putting a new spin on another FDR idea. Let’s call it the Green Court Packing Scheme.
In 1937, FDR proposed adding up to six justices to the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt was upset that the court was declaring some of his New Deal programs, such as the National Recovery Act, unconstitutional. The high court was ruling that Roosevelt was exceeding the power the Constitution gives the executive branch of the federal government in putting the New Deal into action. These days, many Democrats — and Republicans as well — say President Donald
Trump was doing the same thing when he declared a national emergency to fund his southern border wall.
Some Democrats want to expand the Supreme Court now to break up the one- or two-vote conservative majority on the court following the confirmation of Trump’s two appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
History records that FDR dropped his plan to expand the court after a couple of the justices who had been voting to declare New Deal programs unconstitutional switched and joined a court majority and upheld the National Labor Relations and Social Security acts. There’s a lot of time until the 2020 election determines who controls the White House and the Senate.