Biden names 2 Democrat operatives to propose court-packing plan

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during an event to announce the president’s Combatant Commanders nominees Monday, March 8, 2021, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

President Biden on Friday named two Democratic operatives to head a panel of more than 30 members, mostly lawyers, who will consider expanding the Supreme Court.

This week, after he took a number of executive actions on gun control, a report in the Washington Examiner noted the Supreme Court remained a “barrier to Joe Biden’s gun grab” and other partisan initiatives.

The report explained the court, which already has affirmed that the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own and carry weapons, now is considering several cases that could disrupt Biden’s plan to restrict or ban some common weapons.

The White House announced that the commission, which is assigned to look at “the length of service and turnover of justices on the court,” as well as the “membership and size of the court,” will be headed by Bob Bauer of the New York University School of Law and Cristina Rodriguez of Yale.

Only days after Biden was inaugurated, Rodriguez lashed out at former President Trump under the headline “Fixing Trump’s damage to government will take more than executive orders.”

She wrote: “President Biden has wasted no time in addressing the damage of the Trump years, issuing a slew of executive orders and presidential proclamations — most of them reversing the last administration’s most controversial actions. He rejoined the World Health Organization and the Paris climate agreement, canceled a gas pipeline permit the Trump administration had approved and abolished the 1776 Commission his predecessor had set up to push a distorted view of U.S. history.

“But Biden’s orders on immigration most exemplified his attempt to undo Donald Trump’s legacy on Day One: He halted construction on Trump’s border wall, rescinded the infamous travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries and recommitted to protections for unauthorized immigrants brought to the country as children.”

Since then, a humanitarian crisis has developed at the border, with tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children and many more adults arriving to enter the United States illegally. The surge, overwhelming the border protection capabilities of the nation, has subjected young migrants to abuse from smugglers.

Bauer served as White House counsel to Barack Obama. He previously was part of an analysis of the American election system that resulted in measures that, Republicans charge, made fraud easier.

During the second impeachment of President Trump, he wrote articles arguing for changes that would have allowed the Democrats to remove their archnemesis from the White House.

“The Senate had the occasion to pass judgment on the demagogic presidency, and in the end, relying primarily on a jurisdictional objection, it did not do so,” he wrote.

He said the Senate should have done more fact-finding, which could have exposed “the senators who stood by Trump to a greater level of public embarrassment or discomfort.”

The White House said it wants the new Supreme Court commission to examine the Supreme Court’s “role in the constitutional system” and even how the justices choose cases and establish their rules.

Its report is expected within six months.

Other commissioners are Michelle Adams of the Cardozo School of Law; Kate Andrias of the University of Michigan, where the onetime clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg focuses of “political inequality”; Jack Balkin of Yale; William Baude, a law professor from Chicago; Elise Boddie, a Rutgers professor who worked with the NAACP; Guy-Uriel Charles, a Duke professor who writes about the “law’s role in addressing racial subordination”; Andrew Crespo, a Harvard professor who previously clerked for Elena Kagan; Walter Dellinger of Duke; Justin Driver, a Yale professor who worked with Merrick Garland and Stephen Breyer; Richard Fallon Jr. of Harvard; Caroline Fredrickson, previously of the pro-abortion NARAL organization; Heather Gerken of Yale; Nancy Gertner, a former judge; Jack Goldsmith of Harvard; and Thomas Griffith, a former judge.

Other names on the list are Tara Leigh Grove, Bert Huang, Sherrilyn Ifill, Michael Kang, Olatunde Johnson, Alison L. LaCroix, Margaret Lemos, David F. Levi, Trevor W. Morrison, Caleb Nelson, Richard Pildes, Michael Ramsey, Kermit Roosevelt, Bartrall Ross, David Strauss, Laurence H. Tribe, Adam White, Keith Whittington and Michael Waldman of the left-wing Brennan Center for Justice.

Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project, warned, “This is an alarming announcement from President Biden that should be met with the harshest of denunciations from both sides of the aisle. Packing the Supreme Court would destroy centuries of hard work from Democrat- and Republican-appointed justices to insulate the high court from partisan politics. It also raises serious red flags as to what unconstitutional actions President Biden is planning that a more favorable Supreme Court might tolerate.”

He said, “We hope this commission is simply an empty gesture to the radical left. But there is real danger in President Biden giving credibility to the idea of court packing; he is playing with fire and threatening the constitutional foundation of this country. He should have the wisdom and enough self respect to recognize that any attempt to pack the Supreme Court would be rejected by Congress and would be an ugly stain on his legacy, just as it was for the last president who tried it.”

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