We recently discussed the controversial commission set up by President Joe Biden to discuss calls to pack the Supreme Court, as well as a number of really insane ideas to circumvent or curtail the authority of the Conservative majority in the Court. However, some members decided not even to wait for a commission that is itself full of liberal members. House Justice Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others will announce their plan to immediately add four new judges to the Tribunal. The number is only calculated to give the Liberals a 7-6 majority in the Court of Justice. It’s about a subtle one like a B-52 barrel.
Many of us have spoken about the expansion of the Supreme Court over the years. Over 20 years ago I recommended enlarging the Court to 17 or 19 members. However, this recommendation would go on for many years and would not give proponents the short-term majority they seek. That is the difference between reforming and packaging the Court of Justice.
Today’s bill removes any claim to principles. It is pure unadulterated court packaging. It is exactly the proposal that the late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg denounced before her death. Recently, Judge Stephen Breyer wanted to oppose the move. You’d think he’d be immune to the mob as one of the most rigorous liberal judges in our history. However, this week Breyer warned against any move to expand the Supreme Court. He also rejected characterizing the current court as “conservative” or ideologically rigid. Breyer was quickly denounced by personalities such as cable news host Mehdi Hasan, who described him as “naive” and called for his retirement. Demand Justice, a liberal group packing in court, issued a warning on a billboard truck on the streets of Washington the next day in Washington. “Breyer, go into retirement. Don’t risk your legacy. “(Demand Justice once employed White House press secretary Jen Psaki as a communications advisor, and Psaki served on the advisory board of one of his voting projects.)
With opposition from justices like Ginsburg and Breyer (and presumably the majority, if not the unanimous court), this is nothing short of a hostile takeover. It would reduce the court to a glorified life-term FCC.
The chances of achieving this ignoble goal are slim. The real question, however, is how many Democratic senators and members of the House of Representatives will step forward today to denounce such crude court wrapping. These politicians often reject what they see as attacks on the rule of law. Well, this is not just an attack, but a virtual declaration of war on the rule of law. If Democrats only add members to give them a controlling majority, the Supreme Court will have little authority or integrity. It becomes the established majority of a party with razor-thin control over Congress of two seats in the House and a 50:50 split in the Senate.
I am particularly disappointed to see Nadler in this group. I never thought I’d see the day the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee stepped forward to request raw court wrapping. It is a sign of our current political environment where anger overwhelms reason.