This Supreme Court Term Will End With Either Catastrophe or 13 Justices

Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern in Slate:

At the first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Biden refused to say whether he’d expand the Supreme Court if Republicans confirm Barrett, insisting that the issue is a “distraction.” He’s wrong. Broaching the conversation about systemic reform after the election will be too late. And the coming Supreme Court term, which begins Monday, reflects just some of what’s at stake, this week, this month, and in the months ahead. The debate about structural changes to the court can’t wait until a hypothetical future in which everything has settled down. That future has already vanished.

On the docket just in the weeks to come, there is a blockbuster case that seeks to put a stake through the heart of the Affordable Care Act, in the midst of a pandemic—a challenge Barrett would seem to favor. Also on the docket is a case about a Philadelphia foster care agency that refuses to work with same-sex couples and claims that it constitutes religious discrimination if the city refuses to subsidize it with taxpayer dollars. In case that weren’t enough, the court may also hear a case that could strip same-sex couples of equal parenting rights. Moving from religion to guns, the court has been itching to expand the Second Amendment, and Barrett has made plain that she would go further than even most conservative judges to permit guns.

More here.