Democrats in Washington have launched a “raw muscle play” to take over the U.S. Supreme Court with a bill that would expand the court to 13 seats.
The plan from Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who helped lead House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s two impeachment campaigns against President Trump, was reported by The Intercept.
Other promoters of the bill include Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; and Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y.
Fox News reported George Washington University law professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley was appalled.
“There is nothing subtle or elegant in the move. Just a raw muscle play to take control of the Court,” he wrote on Twitter.
If the report is true, they have decided not to wait for the Commission. A move to just add 4 new justices would dispense with even the pretense of principle. The bill will now strip away any semblance of constitutional values for members who do not denounce raw court packing.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) April 14, 2021
Ultimately, this shows the cost of a failure of leadership in the Democratic party, including President Biden. Rather than denounce court packing, Biden played to the far left and called for a Commission to study something he called a “bone headed” and “terrible, terrible idea.”
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) April 15, 2021
Turley said the move shows “the cost of a failure of leadership in the Democratic party, including President Biden.”
That was because the Democrats apparently are refusing to cooperate even among themselves. Biden announced just days ago a commission, dominated by Democrats, to consider changes to the Supreme Court.
“Democrats are launching a full assault on the independence of the federal judiciary. Republicans will stop them,” said Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.
Matt Whitlock, a former staffer for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called the move, which Biden once described when he was a senator as “boneheaded,” as a “fantastic gift” to Republicans.
“And making it a bill instead of a Senate rules process means we get to get moderate House D’s on the record on it too. Just a fantastic turn of events,” he said.
Democrats have claimed that Republicans “packed” the court when President Trump successfully nominated three justices to fill three vacancies, because then-Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell did not move forward Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland at the end of Obama’s term.
The move comes despite the opposition of late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon to progressives, as well as current liberal justice Stephen Breyer.
Breyer recently warned: “My experience of more than 30 years… as a judge has shown me that once men and women take the judicial oath they take that oath to heart. They are loyal to the rule of law, not to the political party that helped to secure their appointment. These considerations convince me that it is wrong to think of the court as just another political institution and it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians.”
“Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that latter perception, further eroding that trust,” he said. “There is no shortcut.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, called the Democrats’ move “an act of arrogant lawlessness.”
Fox News said the bill was “unlikely to pass,” since the Democrats have a slim majority in the House and would need to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate. Even then, at least one Democratic senator has expressed opposition to the court-packing idea.
DailyMail.com reported Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said, “The Democrats will do anything for power.”
And Mark Meadows, a former chief of staff for President Trump, said: “The moderate left is gone. This is who they are now. Open borders. Outlawing voter ID. Free healthcare for illegal migrants. And now court packing.”
Rep. Jones of New York, one of the sponsors of the bill, described the court packing as “infrastructure.”
Biden’s panel, for which the Democrats are not waiting, has two Democratic operatives heading a panel of more than 30 members, mostly lawyers, to “study” the possibility of adding justices and make a recommendation.
The White House told the commission to look at “the length of service and turnover of justices on the court” as well as the “membership and size of the court.” Biden appointed Bob Bauer of the New York University School of Law and Cristina Rodriguez of Yale to lead it.
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 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.
Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project, said: “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.”
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