Overall, respondents were lukewarm on increasing the size of the federal courts. Only 23 percent said they supported the hypothetical court-packing proposal.
However, when court packing was proposed by a member of their own party, support nearly doubled to 40 percent. Similarly, respondents were 36 percent more likely to report wanting to reelect a senator who proposed a court-packing bill and was a member of their own party than a senator from the other party with a similar proposal.
Respondents were also sensitive to the proposal’s rationale: 36 percent of our respondents said they would vote for an incumbent who introduced a court-packing bill to help the judiciary manage an increasing caseload. When the bill’s purpose was to stack the judiciary, only 17 percent of respondents said they would reelect the senator. Similarly, 33 percent of respondents approved of the bureaucratic version of the proposal while only 14 percent approved of the politicized version.