"It would have increased turnover on the Court, reduced the average age of justices, made an appointment to the Court less prestigious, and made the justices more cautious about bucking strong political forces, because they would have learned that Congress was willing as well as able to rein them in. We would probably have been spared the excesses of the Warren Court, which turned Roosevelt’s idea of the 'living Constitution' on its head: where Roosevelt wanted the Court to stand aside so that the government could deal with the distinctive problems of modernity, the Warren Court responded to the surging crime rates of the 1950s and 1960s by increasing the rights of criminals."
That's snazzily put, but it's really saying the same old thing about judicial restraint. Deference to legislatures in FDR's day served a liberal goal, and the activists were the conservatives. In later decades, judicial activism was mobilized for liberal ends. Over time, conservatives and liberals have used both judicial restraint and judicial activism to suit their ends.
The more fundamental question is whether we'd be better off if the judicial branch were subordinated to the political branches. I would think that conservatives and liberals alike — the full range across the political spectrum — benefit from a system of separated powers with 3 branches that are well-balanced and strong within their own spheres.
We can fight forever about exactly what the 3 spheres of power really are and what constitutesproper balance — when courts should act and when they should defer to the democratic branches — but I balk at the invitation to be wistful about the missed opportunity to weaken and subordinate the courts.