Political Bettors Predict Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Confirmation. Is Court Packing Next?

Posted on: October 27, 2020, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: October 27, 2020, 12:56h.

Amy Coney Barrett is the newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States. Many political bettors correctly predicted the appointment. But now, some Dems are asking to pack the court.

Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court odds
Justice Amy Coney Barrett, seen here at her swearing in. She will serve on the US Supreme Court for as long as she shall choose. (Image: AP)

Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September, President Donald Trump announced he was nominating Barrett to the nation’s highest court. The President’s actions drew immediate backlash from Democrats, who demanded he wait until after the November 3 election in accordance with Ginsburg’s last dying wish.

Trump did not oblige. And bettors on PredictIt felt the GOP-controlled Senate would make swift work of putting the President’s third Supreme Court nominee to the bench.

Earlier this month, PredictIt bettors gave ACB a nearly 90 percent chance of being confirmed by the Senate before Election Day. Shares of “November 3 to January 2” were trading at a distant 10 cents.

On Monday night, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm her as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court.

“The confirmation process has made ever clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate,” Barrett began her speech following her swearing in by Justice Clarence Thomas.

“It is the job of a Senator to pursue her policy preferences. By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences,” Barrett explained. “It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give into them. Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people.”

Reid Blamed

Democrats remain outraged that Justice Amy Coney Barrett is officially a member of the Supreme Court. Immediately, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for packing the court — aka adding seats.

Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do,” AOC tweeted. “And for a long time, they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal, but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”

Former US Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has taken some heat for ACB’s confirmation. Reid was Las Vegas and the gaming industry’s predominant voice in DC for decades.

In 2013, Reid — then Senate Majority Leader — led the successful effort to end the filibuster for judicial confirmations. At the time, Senate Republicans were using the filibuster to block three liberal appointments to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Court Packing Possibility

The National Constitution Center explains that the number of seats on the Supreme Court is not set in stone, and Congress possesses the power to change the configuration.

“The answer is that under the Constitution, the number of Supreme Court Justices is not fixed, and Congress can change it by passing an act that is then signed by the President,” explains the National Constitution Center Editor in Chief Scott Bomboy.

The Supreme Court has been a nine-member bench since 1869. But a “blue wave” — Democrats retaining control of the House and taking power in the Senate, paired with a Joe Biden victory — threatens to end the 152-year SCOTUS arrangement.