Poll shows Americans oppose court packing, want term limits for justices

According to a new poll, a majority of Americans are opposed to court packing and support term limits for U.S. Supreme Court justices, The Hill reported

The poll, which surveyed 1,003 adults, was conducted online by Ipsos on behalf of Reuters on April 15 and April 16. The margin of error was within plus or minus four percentage points.

The poll

The pollsters found that 63% of Americans, nearly two out of every three, are in favor of imposing term limits on U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Just 22% were in favor of continuing with lifetime appointments, and the remaining 15% weren’t sure.

Justices are currently allowed to remain on the high court until they die or decide to retire.

The argument for this approach is that it helps keep the court independent and non-partisan since the justices can make decisions without considering the popularity in order to be reelected.

As the court has become more politicized, some argue it makes sense to treat the justices more like politicians, and require them to retire after a certain number of years so that they can be replaced by a president elected by the American people.

Court packing

The pollsters also found that only 38% of Americans, roughly four out of every ten, support court packing. Forty-two percent were against the idea, and 20% weren’t sure.

House Democrats recently proposed a piece of legislation that would add four justices to the Supreme Court, giving President Joe Biden the opportunity to appoint four liberal justices, and shift the court’s balance of power back to the left.

Currently, however, Democrats are waiting to pursue court-packing legislation until a newly created commission by Biden on reforming the court submits its report. The commission is clearly a way for the Democrats to try to give legitimacy to court packing, which, as the Ipsos poll demonstrates, is not popular among Americans.

Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said that they had a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence in the Supreme Court’s decisions.

The court continues to lead the three branches of government in having the public’s confidence. Packing the Supreme Court would only undermine that confidence and turn the third branch into a partisan tool to gain power.

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