The 19th-Century History of Court Packing

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Following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republicans have promised to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice swiftly, before the imminent presidential election. If the Republican-led Senate confirms a new nominee either before or closely after the November election, some Democrats have said they will respond by attempting to “pack”—or add justices—to the Supreme Court. This week’s episode looks to history, particularly to the 19th century and the Civil War era, to see what lessons from historic battles over the composition of the Court might teach us today. Host Jeffrey Rosen is joined by two renowned constitutional historians —Tim Huebner of Rhodes College and Mark Graber of the University of Maryland Carey Law School.

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