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July 18, 2023

Democrats’ Latest Plan to Scuttle SCOTUS

The Left is hell-bent on restricting the Supreme Court by any means necessary.

Late June has become an annual time of torment for Democrats.

We say this because only one thing stands between the American people and an unbridled leftist agenda, and we’re reminded of it each year in late June. That one thing? The Supreme Court.

This, more than anything else — more than even Donald Trump — drives the Left nuts. Were it not for the genius of the Framers’ third coequal branch of government, Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats would’ve run (even more) amok. Instead, they’ve once again been held in check. “In questions of power,” said Thomas Jefferson, “let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

And so it is. The Supreme Court is thus a constant reminder to the Left of the limits of its power, and of the way it’s been outworked and outsmarted and — let’s face it — outlucked by its Republican enemies in recent years. Think about it: Had it not been for Trump’s razor-thin victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett would instead be three fiftyish leftists with lifetime appointments, and the Supreme Court would be 6-2-1 left-wing instead of a 5-3-1 conservative majority — and probably so for at least a generation.

Imagine every landmark case on abortion, religious liberty, free speech, racial discrimination, and the limits of government power going the wrong way for the rest of your life. Now you can imagine the anguish of the Democrats.

The current situation is thus intolerable, and the Left is hell-bent on doing something about it. And that something is delegitimization. It’s committed to weakening the Court by any means necessary.

We’ve gotten a glimpse of this recently, when a left-leaning news organization called ProPublica tried to smear Justice Samuel Alito as conflicted for having taken a 2008 Alaska vacation with a wealthy friend. Before that, it tried a similar tactic with Justice Clarence Thomas.

Both efforts mostly failed because they were pathetically weak on the merits. But that won’t deter these people. The Democrats’ latest effort, then, is to attack the constitutionally mandated independence of the Court with a suite of “ethics” rules and the establishment of a Supreme Court “code of conduct” by which the coequal second branch of government can continually harass and upset the balance of the third branch. As the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page editors report: “The Supreme Court has finished its business for the summer, but Senate Democrats never finish trashing the Justices. The Judiciary Committee that scoured Brett Kavanaugh’s high-school yearbook is preparing to pass new rules under the guise of ethics reform that are intended to put the Justices on a political leash.”

The editors continue:

Their Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act would require the Court to establish a Code of Conduct within 180 days. It would also set disclosure rules for “gifts, income, and reimbursements required to be disclosed under the Standing Rules of the Senate and the Rules of the House of Representatives.”

Treating judges like Members of Congress is exactly the wrong model to follow. The nine Justices are appointees with lifetime tenure under the Constitution in order to insulate them from political pressure. Legislators are political actors accountable to voters for their relationships with campaign contributors and interest groups.

Imagine interest groups on the Left and Right — but mostly the Left — being able to file an endless string of complaints against the Court’s justices to hamper their work and give the appearance of wrongdoing and conflicts of interest. And imagine a three-judge panel of lower-court judges being able to demand that certain justices recuse themselves from certain key cases due to real or imagined conflicts of interest.

That’s what we’re up against if the Left gets its way. But, happily for now, the editors conclude: “Democrats don’t currently have the votes to break the Senate filibuster and pack the Court, but watch out when they do. Meantime, their ethics ruse is an attempt to intimidate and control the Justices by other means. It deserves to be called out as a betrayal of the Constitution that would destroy judicial independence.”

Imagine you were a Democrat. And imagine you were a crook. But we repeat ourselves. Seriously, though: Imagine you were in a jewelry store, and the only thing that kept you from appropriating the Rolex of your dreams was a glass case. Those are the Democrats, and that’s the Supreme Court.

We on the Right need to protect and strengthen that glass case as if our way of life depended on it. Because it does.

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