I've read up on the process it takes to expand the Supreme Court, and I was wondering if there are any guard rails to stop this process from going insane.

If the Democratic Senate expands the court to lets say 13 seats, can the Republicans come back and re-expand it 20? 30? Forget the Political implications or if there is the political will to do this...is there anything stopping them? How about shrinking the court? Is there a way to just reduce the size of the court without actually impeaching any judges?

This seems like a particularly dangerous point of ambiguity in the Constitutional Framework which could very easily destroy the entire judiciary; unless there is something I am missing.

  • 1
    What you're missing is that the framers (probably) didn't anticipate that SCOTUS would become a "superlegislature" of sorts. (And to some extent that's SCOTUS own doing with Marbury.) Feb 2, 2021 at 4:46
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    When the court shrinks, I think they have to wait for justices to resign, and they don't replace them.
    – Barmar
    Feb 2, 2021 at 6:12
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    The senate does not have the authority to determine the size of the supreme court. That is done by legislation, which means congress as a whole must pass a law either with the president's assent or by overriding the president's veto.
    – phoog
    Feb 3, 2021 at 4:57


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