Could Georgia Senate races keep Democrats’ court-packing hopes alive?

Democrats could block a GOP-Senate majority by winning both Georgia runoffs

Just two Senate races in Georgia could determine the balance of power in the upper chamber of Congress and ultimately impact whether the Supreme Court will retain the conservative majority established under President Trump.

Republicans currently just need one more seat to reach a 51-vote Senate majority, while Democrats could block a GOP majority by winning both Georgia runoffs to obtain a 50-50 balance, meaning that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would likely act as a tie-breaker in many votes.

However, the Democratic Party includes some moderates who could resist a Biden administration's attempts to pack the Supreme Court, as some in the party indicated it would do in response to Justice Amy Coney Barrett's nomination.

Barrett's appointment, which created a 6-3 majority for conservatives, was a game-changer for many Democrats, who alleged that Republicans hypocritically pushed a nominee so close to an election after blocking Judge Merrick Garland's nomination for that reason in 2016. Republicans have generally maintained that 2016 was qualitatively different in that the Senate and White House were controlled by opposing parties.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN: IF DEMOCRATS WIN THE SENATE, I WON'T SUPPORT 'CRAZY STUFF' LIKE COURT PACKING

Despite offering a chance to shift power in their favor, Democrats would need to worry about the political fallout of adding new justices. The issue was so controversial that President-elect Joe Biden refused to take a stance on it before the election.

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Like Biden, Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have avoided taking positions on court-packing – providing fodder for their opponents, Sens. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga. Loeffler was one of several Republicans – including Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who just won reelection – to propose measures, including a constitutional amendment, banning court-packing.

Already, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have voiced opposition to court-packing – throwing cold water on Democrats' attempts rectify what some saw as an illegitimate confirmation with Barrett.