A majority of registered voters in the United States oppose adding seats to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new survey that also found bipartisan resistance to the idea.
The survey by Mason-Dixon found that 68 percent of registered voters, including 90 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats, oppose the idea of "court-packing." The question noted that the Supreme Court has had nine justices for more than 150 years and that court-packing is "generally defined as increasing the number of Supreme Court seats, primarily to alter the ideological balance of the court."
Registered voters remained opposed to court-packing when the question was rephrased to include a current Democratic proposal, although more Democratic voters backed the idea.
By a 65-31 percent margin, registered voters say they believe President Biden should oppose a plan by Congressional Democrats to "increase the number of Justices of the Supreme Court" from nine to 13, according to the survey's wording. More than nine in 10 (95 percent) Republicans oppose the Congressional Democratic plan, as do 75 percent of independents and 33 percent of Democrats.
Kelly Shackelford, president and chief counsel of First Liberty Institute, said the survey's results are good news for those who are critical of court-packing.
"Court-packing is a direct assault on the independence of the judiciary," Shackelford said. "Other countries have done this, with disastrous results. Americans recognize that court-packing is a brazen power-play by political extremists to overthrow our court system."
The survey also found that:
- 83 percent of registered voters, including 90 percent of Democrats, say they would have opposed President Trump adding seats to the court if he had been re-elected.
- 63 percent of registered voters agree with the statement that court-packing "is primarily a partisan proposal intended to increase political power."
"The last thing our country needs right now is a coup on the Supreme Court," Shackelford said. "We need our Constitutional system. It is the envy of the world."
The survey involved interviews with 1,100 registered voters April 15-19, 2021.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brian PIrwin
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.