One of the arguments that has been made most frequently in favor of the relatively recent attempt to re-define Reformed along minimalist, theologically inclusive, and even latitudinarian lines, has been: the meaning of words change. This argument has been made to me in the comments box in this very space. Never mind the fact that the meaning of Reformed was established around the middle of the 16th century and remained stable until about 15 years ago.
Since about last Friday, the expression “court packing” has received a marvelous new definition. From the “things you should have learned in school” file, it was president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Thirty-Second President of the United States, who, in 1937, threatened to pack the court with sympathetic justices in order to get his New Deal approved. FDR was frustrated that the Court kept comparing his New Deal legislation to the Constitution of the United States and, after so doing, striking it down. For 83 years we have all agreed on the meaning of the expression “to pack the court.” It has meant to expand the number of justices so that the Court is no longer the final (supreme) court of appeal in the United States but rather becomes an unelected, super-legislature designed to approve whatever the President wants to do. Since 1937 most law schools and most civics classes (if anyone still teaches American Civics any more) have denounced court-packing as a dangerous scheme.