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The Left Is Doubling Down on Schemes to Pack the Supreme Court

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2019
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by Outside Contributor
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60 Comments
court

Anything the left can’t control, it aims to destroy.

From campaigns to abolish the Senate to the growing movement to upend the Electoral College after Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election, progressives have few qualms about getting rid of long-standing constitutional institutions.

Now they’re doubling down on their efforts to wage war on the Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that Democrats should consider court-packing during an appearance at Yale, noting that he would try to add two seats if he were president.

The left has relied on the Supreme Court to solidify its policy gains over the past half-century in particular. Now it faces the prospect of an originalist-leaning institution overturning some progressive precedents.

Left-wing groups are openly advocating that the next Democrat president pack the Supreme Court to expand the number of justices beyond the now traditional nine.

Politico reported that one initiative, appropriately named “Pack the Courts,” is trying to get 2020 presidential candidates to sign onto a pledge to do just that.

“At Demand Justice, we strongly believe that reforming the court—especially by expanding it—is the cornerstone for rebuilding American democracy,” said Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice and a former Hillary Clinton press secretary, according to Politico. “The Kavanaugh court is a partisan operation, and democracy simply cannot function when stolen courts operate as political shills. We are thrilled to work in coalition with the team at Pack the Courts to undo the politicization of the judiciary.”

Some Democrats, at least initially, have resisted the court-packing temptation.

However, the left will exert enormous pressure on Democrats to buckle under the power of a left-wing base that is unconcerned about preserving institutions that they see as standing in the way of social justice.

This partisan attempt to pack the court under the guise of “reform” is nothing new. When Justice Anthony Kennedy—often seen as a swing vote on the high court—retired, some progressives immediately jumped in to make the case that it was time to use full-blown court-packing once they return to power.

The fact that progressives made this argument before Justice Brett Kavanaugh even sat on the high court shows that there wasn’t really a deeper problem with “the Kavanaugh court” other than the fact that it now contained more originalists.

One has to imagine too that if President Donald Trump simply took the left’s advice and started carrying out his own court-packing, they would denounce him as a tyrant.

However, it’s far too much to expect intellectual consistency in this matter. The Supreme Court as traditionally constituted is a threat to the left’s ability to radically transform America.

It must be destroyed.

While this brazenly partisan attempt to blow up the Supreme Court has certainly been an uncommon phenomenon in recent political debates, it’s not entirely unprecedented.

The Constitution actually says nothing about the number of Supreme Court justices, who serve for life, or more specifically “during good behavior.”

In the early 19th century, the Supreme Court’s size changed a few times with little fanfare. In part due to the lesser capacity of the federal government in those days, the court wasn’t seen as powerful and important as it is today.

The high court settled into having nine justices in 1869, and has stayed that way ever since.

Only once was this number seriously challenged after that time. President Franklin Roosevelt infamously attempted court-packing in the 1930s.

When the Supreme Court struck down many of his cherished New Deal programs, FDR threatened to pack the court with new justices. Specifically, he requested that Congress allow him to appoint a new justice for every current justice over 70.

Roosevelt cited age and caseload as the reasons to carry out his plan. But as popular as FDR was in 1937, the country responded negatively.

The plan was met with fierce resistance. Democrats had almost unprecedented control of Congress, but many lawmakers recoiled at the idea of bludgeoning the Supreme Court and undermining its independence.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Erwin Griswold, a professor at Harvard Law School, said dramatically in 1937, according to Smithsonian Magazine:

There are at least two ways of getting rid of judges. One is to take them out and shoot them, as they are reported to do in at least one other country. The other way is more genteel, but no less effective. They are kept on the public payroll but their votes are canceled.

Many Americans saw FDR’s move as a naked power grab, not unlike Thomas Jefferson’s attempt to impeach Federalist justices when he was president (which didn’t go well).

Almost paradoxically, these perceived partisan attacks on the court have served to strengthen its reputation in the American mind, for good or ill.

But can we be so sure that the country would be united in thwarting such a brazen scheme today?

Openly embracing socialism was once thought unthinkable in mainstream American politics, too.

For now, the movement to pack the court may just be a palliative to soothe the anger of the left-wing base. However, if these ideas ever came to fruition they would cause further damage to the notion that we live under a constitutional system that puts laws over men.

Sen. Burton Wheeler, a staunch Democrat ally of Roosevelt, gave perhaps the most succinct reason to oppose such a court-packing scheme in a 1937 speech:

Create now a political court to echo the ideas of the executive and you have created a weapon. A weapon which, in the hands of another president in times of war or other hysteria, could well be an instrument of destruction. A weapon that can cut down those guarantees of liberty written into your great document by the blood of your forefathers and that can extinguish your right of liberty, of speech, of thought, of action, and of religion. A weapon whose use is only dictated by the conscience of the wielder.

It’s certainly correct to worry about the power of the Supreme Court, which has become distended compared to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

But taking a partisan ax to the way the court is structured won’t fix the problem.

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goPoli
goPoli
4 years ago

this may be off topic, but a reply below (Betty H) mentioned no pension in political “service” and that can go a long ways to curtailing career politics and corrupting votes. It even may have some possibility to pass with newly elected and a few re-elected reps. The New Jersey governor wants taxes raised to cover pensions, among other things. Public “servants” should only be paid while “serving” and in office. Congressmen are highly paid and can/should fund their own retirement. If they botch it, they can go on SS like others do. Government wages are often adjusted up to cover payment into their “public” retirement funds, in addition to tax dollars going directly to pay for pensions. To get the government out of the pension and retirement business, would remove much corrupting incentive.

Brian Cieslar
Brian Cieslar
4 years ago

Ok. So let’s add 2 more now and let Trump select them

Linda K
Linda K
4 years ago

Have you noticed that everything the left says or does is the exact opposite of logic or common sense? Right is wrong, good is bad, etc… It’s not just some of the time, it’s every time. I truly think liberalism is a form of mental illness and it appears to be contagious because they manage to spread it, at least to some. We need a cure.

VINCENT j DESALVO
VINCENT j DESALVO
4 years ago

A step into pulling this county into another civil war when enough citizens see the path the liberal are taking us. Let’s hope and educate the people what this county was founded on and why everyone that is coming to this county is running away from, socialism..

EvaD
EvaD
4 years ago

Why is it when Dems lose they want to do away with the Electoral College, the Senate, talk about packing the court etc., ? Their parent obviously di a poor job of the aching them about losing. No sportsmanship, because we have raised a generation of people to believe that everyone is a winner. A nation of bats who don’t get their way stomp their foot at you and look like the want to cry hoping they will get their way. Well, go to hell, you spoiled privileged little brats!

rbd
rbd
4 years ago

The democrat party has become an enemy of the United States and operates illegally more and more often. It should be disbanded sooner rather than later. The communist party should lose it’s “legality” also. Both of these parties simply want to “fundamentally change the United States,” against the will of the majority of our citizens. They hate the Constitution and lie when they say they will protect and preserve it. They proclaim themselves “the boss” and we will do as they say or (insert what dictators have done over the last century to their own citizens).

We are at a dangerous time in our history with inadequately taught young people following the pied pipers in the democrat party with their promise of “free” things, knowing that the “free” everything will run out and we are left with a group of men and women who planned for the leadership rule but now they are dictators doing what dictators showed us they are capable of doing.

We now have Republicans (Jeb Bush, the latest) encouraging someone to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election. He may just be another angry loser, a la John McCain, but we have seen what such losers can do to harm our governmental positions with just a “thumbs down” gesture.

President Trump has and is doing a very good job in the face of insurmountable attacks by the deep state, the democrat party, and shameful rinos with their own agendas. Contact your local Republican Party and volunteer your time and money to re-elect President Trump and to seek out and elect honest Conservatives for the House of Representatives and Senate in 2020.

Lee
Lee
4 years ago

They loved the number of Supreme Court justices until it didn’t go their way any longer. If they don’t like the way our government is set up, they need to go live in some other country. I’m sick and tired of them thinking they know what’s best for all of us. They’re probably too stupid to know anything they do will also affect themselves, their family, and their friends.

Gail Coury
Gail Coury
4 years ago

We cannot let this happen wake up!

Jimm
Jimm
4 years ago

Does anyone believe that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not holding on (or being allowed to hold on) for any other reason than to attempt to insure that she’s replaced by another of her views and values? Had “Her Highness” been elected in 2016 instead of President Trump, I’m sure that RBG’s exit would have already occurred. As Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and distinguished professor of law and Raymond Pryke professor of First Amendment law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law has said, “Love ya Ruth, but it’s time to go”.

rodney hickman
rodney hickman
4 years ago

If the liberals are bent on loading the Supreme Court, perhaps President Trump should load it now while we have control of the senate!

dino
dino
4 years ago

The democrats and socialists have nothing to do with DEMOCRACY.They think that everything to everyone should be free.Someone needs to break the news to them that nothing is free,someone has to pay and it will be like all the other free programs.The so called free stuff is ALWAYS paid for by the people that still have to work to make a living,the AMERICAN taxpayer.The democratic should be called the socialcratic freeloader party.

Robert N
Robert N
4 years ago

This idea has merit, but at a lower level… there are 154 judicial vacancies now and 87 are ranked as emergencies.

The backlog is huge… the authorized District seats are 677.. that might be increased to 800 and the authorized Circuit seats are 179 and that might be raised to 220 and reorganize the circuits so each has 4 states each…. BUT before any of that we need to get nominees confirmed at a rate that eclipses the currently faster rate of vacancies.

Please contact your Senators and tell them to vote up or down on the current 41 nominees this week!!!

MariaRose
MariaRose
4 years ago

For the Supreme Court to judge fairly the number of judges has to be in an odd number ( as in 3,5,7,9,13) to allow for a non- partisan decision. Plus this addition of judges would have to be passed via a legistrative process. There’s never be an equal number because of this, so why waste the effort.

Ron Bentley
Ron Bentley
4 years ago

If we conservatives want to win the day and prevent liberals and progressives( Communists) from undermining our way of life, sinking us in a sea of debt and turning us into a socialist Banana Republic, we have to never stop fighting. “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
~ Winston Churchill

Rab
Rab
4 years ago

Remember That Liberals Are Insane Crazy People. If we conservatives want to win the day and prevent liberals and progressives( Communists) from undermining our way of life, sinking us in a sea of debt and turning us into a socialist Banana Republic, we have to never stop fighting. “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
~ Winston Churchill

Rab
Rab
4 years ago

Remember That Liberals Are Insane Crazy People

Barb S.
Barb S.
4 years ago

Here again, all part of the plan to destroy the Constitution of America that is getting in their way of socialism….pure and simple. Everything with the Dems is a scheme of one kind or another….they have all turned on our country….and the majority of folks don’t see it….don’t read whats going on and don’t pay attention…..sadly

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
4 years ago

If nobody has been paying attention, the Democraps are out to abolish the Constitution. It’s that simple. Socialism puts the “elite” in control of EVERYTHING until Communism is fully ushered in. The Constitution prevents that from happening…for now.

Steve
Steve
4 years ago

Nothing new that’s what’s been going on for the last twenty years . Holder the same outstanding guy who came up with the wisbang idea of letting over five thousand weapons fall into criminals hands and at the cost of American and untold Mexicans life’s . How about putting limits on judges that stay and say they will have to carry me out . They do a disservice to America . Then you have that weasel Roberts who is a two face .

Chic
Chic
4 years ago

If you want to save your country…..Article V or CIVIL WAR….PERIOD…!

Wayne D Peterkin
Wayne D Peterkin
4 years ago

I have little doubt that today’s Democratic Party will stop at nothing to inflict the damage of their agenda on our nation, and this is simply one more in that effort. They have no hope of changing the makeup of the SCOTUS with President Trump who would certainly veto any such effort were it to get through Congress (very unlikely with a GOP-controlled Senate but with these RINOs who knows). But the threat is very dangerous should the Democrats control both houses of Congress with a Democrat as president as they did from 2009 – 2010. Never underestimate the cunning and threat of progressives. They hate our Constitution and our nation for preventing them from taking dictatorial rule over us. One minor example just in the past few days is De Blasio dictating meatless Mondays in New York schools, believing that he should be allowed to tell us all what our kids can and cannot eat. It is a small example of the loss of individual freedom at the heart of every “progressive”, and those freedoms are what this nation has always been about. AOC’s “Green New Deal” is a much larger example that would devastate our entire country and our economy without making any change in climate at all.

RFOX
RFOX
4 years ago

“The Kavanaugh court is a partisan operation, and democracy simply cannot function when stolen courts operate as political shills.”
HEY FALLON, JUST LIKE YOU MARXISTS ALWAYS DO, YOU ARE PROJECTING AGAIN. YOU ARE CORRECT IN THAT ” democracy simply cannot function when stolen courts operate as political shills”. BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN THE PROBLEM WITH THE “SUPREME” COURT SINCE THE MARXIST DEMOCRAT PARTY HAS CAPTURED CONTROL OF IT BY APPOINTING MARXIST JUDGES THAT HAVE NO RESPECT FOR OR BELIEF IN THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE BETTER PART OF THE LAST 40 YEARS!!!

RFOX
RFOX
4 years ago

“At Demand Justice, we strongly believe that reforming the court—especially by expanding it—is the cornerstone for rebuilding American democracy,” said Brian Fallon.
THIS IS AN OUT AND OUT LIE BECAUSE FALLON DOES NOT BELIEVE IN “AMERICAN DEMOCRACY” HIS ANOTHER MARXIST POS!!!

Carol
Carol
4 years ago

I’m sorry but I’m sick about reading how the left is destroying this country with their LIES!!!! If the judiciary is politicized in this country its because of the lying leftists!!! And WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!!!! WE ARE A REPUBLIC!!! There is a difference and the left doesn’t seem to either get it or care (probably the latter). How are we to expose the LYING LEFT when they control the media, education, and social media? Just voting isn’t doing enough to change anything! Our country is STILL moving LEFT!!! I’m so frustrated!!!

chaly
chaly
4 years ago

Why would anyone listen to Holder? He committed treason furnishing arms to the enemy and should have been executed already. How about doing it today! Put odumer in with him, and AOC, pelosi, shiffhed and the rest of the DNC’ommunists in Congress. Time to clean out the sewer! They are all traitors.

Michael Cozzi
Michael Cozzi
4 years ago

We need to go back to the way it was

Dan P
Dan P
4 years ago

I don’t agree with increasing it but if they must, hurry and increase it to 31 today and let President Trump fill them. It will take the liberals a century at least to try and take it back.

‘Nonymus
‘Nonymus
4 years ago

Sadly, I’m all too aware of the power games being played. It may be time to put down this insurrection!

Morbious
Morbious
4 years ago

Theres a recent article in the wall street journal about certain county sheriffs in new mexico and Illinois who are refusing to enforce gun control laws passed by dem dominated state legislatures. Hilariously, dem state officials are quoted mewling about this, in spite of the dem sanctuary city movement that explicitly declines to cooperate with federal law regarding illegal immigration. We must all work to prevent dems gaining more power in the next election, but i think its prudent to consider options if the worst happens and were faced with an express train ride to Venezuela, courtesy of the current crop of socialist candidates.

Arteest
Arteest
4 years ago

When I was in HS, there was some words of wisdom on the boys John door that apply well to politicians:
they speak through their _ss and chit through their mouth. F. Gump said “stupid is as stupid does” and everyone knows you can’t fix stupid. I’m not sure term limits would help but am ready to try them.

Rick
Rick
4 years ago

There will be no stopping the left. They are hell bent on seizing total control of every facet of government. They refuse to be bound by rules or morality ( of which they have none). They will continue to push the envelope until the nation is embroiled in a civil war.
If you are not ready to surrender, then prepare to fight. Remember freedom is not free.
” WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US “. Walt Kelly from the final panel of his comic strip Pogo

Bob
Bob
4 years ago

Support Convention of States. 14 states have now adopted this and it is the only way we will save this country, by returning many of the decisions back to the sates. This was a safety net but into the constitution by our fore fathers. So urge and support COS if your state has not joined. Need 2/3 of states . This is Article V in the constitution.

Phillip Pucher
Phillip Pucher
4 years ago

Of course the irony of calling the “Kavanaugh” Court a political tool while describing a court-packing scheme as a great measure for democracy is lost on those who are pushing for more Democrat believers on the court.

BajaRon
BajaRon
4 years ago

I do not think most people realize how close we are to losing this country. The left is out to rule by force and fiat, as they have no hope of ruling by legal, Constitutional means. They are a relentless and tireless adversary to virtually everything this nation was founded and built upon. This is why they hate Trump. He wants to take America back to what made her great. Nothing could be further from the agenda of the left than to have a free and prosperous USA.

Betty Hicks
Betty Hicks
4 years ago

Good Heavens! what else can the left come up with. we need term limits the old heads have been there too long and the new ones are nuts. One term only is what we need so they would not be priming up for the next election. think how peaceful it would be. one term and they would be out that way more people would be elected to office and maybe some of them would have some good sense. If not they would not be long in office. Also no pension or for insurance plans for the. let them live like the American people do.

Charles W.
Charles W.
4 years ago

These Socialist Traitors swore an oath of office : ” “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Sedition used to be a crime bearing hard consequences.

Anna Petrocelli
Anna Petrocelli
4 years ago

It will never happen. There are still people who think with their brains and not their mouths.

Diana
Diana
4 years ago

I am saying this for the hundredth time these Traitors democratics some Republicans need Removed Prosecuted for Treason ANYONE that tries to distort or change the SURPEME LAW of the LAND that includes all the courts judges is committing Treason and must be prosecuted immediately no playing games with Traitors no plea deals no fancy prisons and these socialist communist muslums are Traitors must be delt with NOW

dale
dale
4 years ago

Holder — What happen to fast and furious?

Paul W
Paul W
4 years ago

Which is exactly why the 2020 elections are immensely critical. It is truly a sad, pathetic state of affairs when every election has become more and more pivotal in the fight to save this great republic. Very troubling indeed. Not only is a sweep paramount, the “brooms” MUST be true conservative fighters.

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