John Cusack called on former vice president Joe Biden to threaten to retaliate by expanding and packing the Supreme Court if Republicans try to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The actor sent more than 200 messages to his 1.6 million Twitter followers during the first two days following Ginsburg’s death on Friday. He also warned during the frenetic, typo-ridden tweetstorm that losing this fight means that American democracy could be gone, and he called on House Democrats to impeach Attorney General Bill Barr, who he also called a “gollum”:
Soon after, Cusack tweeted that he is 100% with John Dean (of the Watergate scandal). Dean urged former vice president Joe Biden to announce plans to expand the size of the Supreme Court and then pack it with liberals as retaliation if Republicans fill the vacancy, even though filling the seat is constitutionally required. Such a threat could only be carried out if Biden is elected president and Democrats take control of the Senate, which is a real possibility.
Ginsburg herself opposed calls to expand the size of the court.
In 2019, Ginsburg told NPR’s Nina Totenberg that, “Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time.” She added that, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
That’s a reference to the infamous “switch in time that saved nine.” The way it is taught in school, FDR threatened to use the Democratic majority in Congress to expand the size of the Supreme Court from nine to 15 judges because he was upset that the court kept ruling that his New Deal programs were unconstitutional. By expanding the court, he would then be able to pack it with six additional liberal judges who would rule in his favor. It didn’t happen, so the story goes, because a swing vote on the court made a strategic decision to start ruling in favor of FDR as a way of protecting the institution from the court packing plan, and the size of the court remained the same. Hence, the switch in time… to save nine.
Ginsburg also said that she opposed plans being floated by Democrats to pack the court, because it would be seen as overtly political, which could undermine the legitimacy of the court:
“If anything [it] would make the court look partisan,” she said. “It would be that — one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.'”
Cusack starred in films including “Say Anything” “Gross Point Blank” “Con Air” “High Fidelity” and “Serendipity.” His Twitter bio describes the actor as an “Apocalyptic shit disturber and elephant trainer.”