Chief justice warns Democrats about court-packing agenda

For months already, various Democrats have been attacking the Supreme Court, threatening the justices with changes to the rules under which they operate, maybe even adding a roomful of new judges that would tip the balance to the progressive agenda.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., are among the chorus of voices so far.

Their agenda was triggered because of the three appointments President Trump made to the bench, which purportedly tipped the majority away from leftism toward conservatism, although in reality the justices haven’t presented that presumed left-right division.

Schumer famously threatened two justices by name: “I want to tell you [Neil] Gorsuch, I want to tell you [Brett] Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.”

Now Chief Justice Roberts, in an annual report, has responded.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. (Video screenshot)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. (Video screenshot)

Jonathan Turley, a well-known legal analyst, constitutional scholar and university professor, explained some of Robert’s comments “are clearly directed toward Congress and extreme Democratic groups like Demand Justice.”

Those comments are: “Decisional independence is essential to due process, promoting impartial decision-making, free from political or other extraneous influence. The judiciary’s power to manage its internal affairs insulates courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public trust in its work as a separate and co-equal branch of government.”

Turley noted Robert’s report was used to “denounce the threats being made against the court and its members by Democratic politicians and groups, including threats to pack the court to force an immediately liberal majority.”

Turley explained Democratic leaders have been threatening the court that its members must vote for liberal agendas on key issues or face “consequences.”

He noted Nadler and Markey already have announced a court-packing bill “to give liberals a one-justice majority.”

“This follows threats from various Democratic members that conservative justices had better vote with liberal colleagues . . . or else,” he explained.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also has wondered openly if the court is of any benefit.

“How much does the current structure benefit us? And I don’t think it does,” she said.

Turley explained Roberts’ report “is striking in its measured and deliberative tone in comparison to the often reckless rhetoric of these politicians.”

Turley even predicted that leftist attacks on the court “are likely to increase in this key election year with so many major decisions ticking away on the court docket.”

WND reported just days ago that New York Magazine has warned that Roberts’ popularity – his 60% support among Americans – actually is a problem.

“The consequences for … popular democracy could be dire,” the magazine recently warned.

Turley explained those comments are chilling.

He noted the issue is that Roberts was the most popular among top government officials assessed in a poll, but that is bad news for leftists as they need a population enraged at the judiciary in order the make the changes they are demanding.

The magazine had said, “If the court’s right-wing majority finds that it can continually push the boundaries of conservative judicial activism without undermining its own popular legitimacy, then the consequences for progressivism and popular democracy could be dire.”

“Unpack that line for a second,” Turley suggested. “First of all, [the author] is saying that the goals of the left would be scuttled if the court or its members are popular. For over a year, many in the media and Congress have launched unrelenting attacks on the court and pushed an agenda to pack the court to create an instant liberal majority. They know that court packing is widely detested by the public (as it once was by President Biden and many on the left). In order to achieve such a goal, the justices must be demonized like much else in our age of rage. But it is not working if 60 percent of the public actually like the chief justice.”

He said, “[The author] assumes that, if the justices or the institution were unpopular, it would compel different outcomes or changes on the court. Ethical jurists on both the left and the right reject that notion as the very antithesis of the rule of law.

“The left once celebrated the independence of the court in ordering relief that was denied or blocked in Congress like desegregation,” he said. “As in the 1960s, Democratic politicians are issuing direct warnings to the justices to rule ‘correctly,’ or face consequences. Professors have declared that ‘our Constitution isn’t working’ because they are not seeing the outcomes that they deem to be correct. Senators and commentators are now calling for ‘revolution’ and ‘rebellion’ to achieve what cannot be achieved in a system that has worked for over two centuries to preserve stability and freedom for our country.”

He wrote, “With the courts and the public not responding, it is hard to bring about the ‘revolution’ promised by members and commentators. You need an angry populace to tear down institutions that stand in the way. You need to destroy the legitimacy of the court itself. [The author] put it best: ‘In other words: Even if the court overreaches on abortion and forfeits its popular support, the conservative judicial project is likely to endure. And given Roberts’s current poll numbers, it’s not even clear that Roe’s invalidation will durably erode public reverence for the judiciary.'”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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