Dems Unveil Court-Packing Plan
They aim to turn a 6-3 conservative majority to a 7-6 leftist one.
Democrats sure are impatient. Just last Friday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing his Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court. Among other “reforms,” the commission is tasked with considering the “membership and size of the Court.” Well, later today Democrats in Congress are set to unveil new legislation to add four justices to the Court. Then again, we all know that Biden isn’t the one leading his party these days.
It’s true that the Constitution does not prescribe a number of justices, giving Congress the power to do so. It’s also true that there have been different numbers in the Court’s history — anywhere from five to 10. Still, Congress settled on nine way back in 1869. Even Joe Biden wasn’t in the Senate yet.
After being blocked from replacing the constitutional stalwart Antonin Scalia with the leftist milquetoast Merrick Garland in 2016, Democrats have bitterly rued Hillary Clinton’s defeat because Donald Trump appointed three justices in his four years, including Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats have only themselves to blame, of course. They invoked the “nuclear option,” eliminating the filibuster on judicial nominees and setting the precedent for then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow suit on Supreme Court nominees when Democrats tried to filibuster Neil Gorsuch.
Thus, the Supreme Court now features a 6-3 originalist majority, if anyone still counts John Roberts.
So, why four seats? That’s how many Democrats need to fully reclaim a 7-6 majority. The bill has virtually no chance of passing, but how much more blatantly political could they get?
“We need more than a commission to restore integrity to the court,” declared the bill’s Senate sponsor, Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey.
During the 2020 election campaign, Democrats from Biden to the two Georgia Democrat Senate candidates and on down the line largely avoided answering questions about packing the Court. It’s typical for Democrats to hide their real agenda because they know voters would oppose it, but packing the Court is particularly noteworthy for it’s destructiveness.
Even one of the Court’s three leftists, Stephen Breyer, says packing SCOTUS would erode trust in the judiciary. Before she died last year, Ginsburg warned about the same thing. Likewise, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat who first nuked the filibuster and whom Republicans can thank for the slate of conservative judges confirmed in the last four years, has been overcome by a case of self-reflection. “I think that we better be very, very careful in saying that we need to expand the Supreme Court,” he now says.
Oh, and Biden once called packing the court a “bonehead idea.”
Tell that to Markey and his House pals, Jerrold Nadler and Mondaire Jones of New York and Hank Johnson of Georgia. Those four Democrats are announcing their bill today by pontificating about the need for more justices on the steps outside the Supreme Court building.
Update: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t close the door, but she did apply the brakes. “It’s not out of the question,” she said. “It has been done before in the history of our country a long time ago. The growth of our country, the size of our country, the growth of our challenges in terms of the economy, etcetera, might necessitate such a thing. But I have no plans to bring it to the floor.”
Start a conversation using these share links: