Judiciary

Democrats Plan to Pack the Supreme Court

Former AG Eric Holder advocates a Court-packing agenda for future Democrats.

Political Editors · Mar. 13, 2019

Barack Obama’s former attorney general, Eric Holder, recently spoke at Yale Law School and Columbia University, where he invoked his inner FDR and suggested that Democrats should increase the number of Supreme Court justices. Referencing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to not hold a vote on Merrick Garland during Obama’s last year in office, Holder argued, “Given the Merrick Garland situation, the question of legitimacy is one that I think we should actually talk about. We should be talking even about expanding the number of people who serve on the Supreme Court, if there is a Democratic president and a Congress that might be willing to do that.”

Recall back in 1937, Franklin Roosevelt, frustrated by SCOTUS’s ruling against several of his socialist “New Deal” programs, sought to expand the size of the Supreme Court so he could pack it with justices who would do his political bidding. At the time, the scheme was recognized for what it was — a bald-faced power-grab — which FDR’s own party wisely rejected.

But several leading Democrats today clearly don’t share the same sentiments. In fact, Democrat presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand recently stated that she’s open to court-packing. Don’t be surprised if other 2020 contenders follow suit. The Wall Street Journal observes, “Having dominated courts for decades, progressives can’t abide that the highest Court might no longer be an engine of progressive policy. Donald Trump’s determination to nominate highly qualified and principled judicial conservatives has heightened their panic.”

The most obvious objection to Holder’s idea would be the fact that such an action would only serve to further politicize the one branch of government that was designed to be nonpartisan. It has already devolved into what Thomas Jefferson described as a despotic branch, making the appointment of jurists who abide by their oaths “to support and defend” our Constitution more important now than ever.

(*Updated)

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