We're gonna need a bigger bench — much bigger.
That's the key conclusion of a study published Tuesday about the likely "endgame" of tit-for-tat partisan packing of the U.S. Supreme Court.
With court reform and expansion now getting a new look by the Biden administration, researchers from the University of Chicago, Harvard University and other schools designed and ran thousands of mathematical simulations of scenarios in which both major parties would add new seats to the court in a drawn-out battle for ideological control.
Adam Chilton of the University of Chicago Law School, one of the report's co-authors, said court-packing has gotten limited academic attention compared to judicial term limits and other court reforms. But with new attention triggered by the bitter brawls over Garland, who is now U.S. attorney general, and Trump's nominees, politicians and court watchers have frequently tossed around vague doomsday predictions.
"The public debate quickly goes to 'Court expansions will get out of hand, we'll have 100 justices in no time,' and if you read articles and op-eds, that's often used as a way to dismiss the idea," Chilton told Law360 Pulse.
"A lot of the value of this kind of project is that it requires you to formally state all the assumptions you need to make to study this, all the factors you need to consider, to state those very clearly, and then see where they lead you."
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