Skip to comments.Court Packing Could Turn Into a Nightmare for Joe Biden and the Democrats
Posted on 10/09/2020 12:00:42 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
Republicans will turn up the heat on Democrats over court-packing as the Amy Coney Barrett hearings begin next week.
Republicans continue to press Democratic nominee Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in recent days over whether the pair would pack the court if conservative-leaning Amy Coney Barrett gets a seat on the bench, a question that the two have avoided to answer. If the Democrats were to proceed with court-packing, it would represent a momentous step that would erode another guardrail of American democracy and turn the court into a rubber stamp for the president rather than a separate branch of government. The last time it was attempted was in 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt suffered a humiliating defeat in Congress after he tried to add new members to the Supreme Court. Would Biden and the Democrats seek to go down the same road?
Biden faced the court-packing question at a campaign stop in Phoenix on Thursday, providing yet another bland response. You will know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over, Biden told reporters at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that rather than focusing on whats happening now. This election has begun. Theres never been a court appointment once the election has begun.
Court-packing a radical idea that broadens the highest court by adding more judges than what exists now would tilt the Supreme Court to be more left-leaning if Biden is elected and Democrats rally enough federal level support to pass the law. Although the constitution doesnt state how many justices must sit over the court, Republicans argue that there have been nine justices on the Supreme Court for well over a century, so swelling the bench would radically interfere with the highest courts practice and history.
I think the reason they wont answer it is because their answer is yes, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) told the Daily Caller on Thursday, and they know thats incredibly impossible so theyre trying to hide just how radical their agenda is. They are ready to pack the court. If they win, if they take a majority, if we have Biden, Schumer and Pelosi in charge, I believe they will pack the court, Cruz added.
At the vice-presidential debate Wednesday night, Vice President Mike Pence pressured Harris to provide a clear answer if the Democratic ticket plans to pack the court, accusing her of giving a non-answer when asked about the issue in the past. Harris refused. The American people deserve a straight answer, Pence said. "And if you havent figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.
The issue of court-packing resurfaced after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in mid-September when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to push for President Donald Trumps Supreme Court nominee before Election Day. If the Republican-controlled Senate passes Barretts nomination, she would become the third Supreme Court justice appointed by Trump and potentially impose an ideological tilt that would put conservatives in power on the bench, 6 to 3.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told his colleagues that everything Americans value is at stake if Senate Republicans convene to fill Ginsburgs seat, as the lifetime appointment would mend ideology on the highest court for generations. Schumer, who potentially faces a challenge from AOC in 2022, moved decisively to the left: Let me be clear: If Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.
McConnell, the leader of the effort to swiftly fill the vacant seat, has been labeled as a hypocrite by Democrats because he blocked Merrick Garland, an appeals court judge, when former President Barack Obama nominated him to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia after he passed away in February 2016, arguing that the nomination should wait until after voters decide the 2016 election. The majority leader added that a vacant Supreme Court justice seat should not be filled during election season, a reversal from his initiative now.
Whether Biden and Harris will seek to pack the court if Barrett is granted the seat, in the event that the Democratic ticket wins the election. Nearly 11 candidates during the Democratic presidential primaries were open to the idea of court-packing, including Harris. Biden, however, did not support it because well live to rue that day, he said last July. We add three justices; next time around, we lose control, they add three justices, Biden said last October. "We begin to lose any credibility the court has at all.
If Biden provides a clear indication that he intends to pack the court, the stance would likely deter moderate or independent voters that he needs to win the tight race to the White House. In recent weeks, Biden said giving a response to the question will shift the focus of the election.
Thats what [Trump] wants. He never wants to talk about the issue at hand and he always tries to change the subject. The discussion should be about why he is moving in a direction thats totally inconsistent with what the founders wanted. The Constitution says voters get to pick a president who gets to make the pick and the Senate gets to decide, Biden told WBAY News last month. Were in the middle of the election right now, he added. "You know, people are voting now. By the time this Supreme Court hearing would be held, if they hold one, its estimated 30 to 40 percent of American people already have voted. It is a fundamental breach of constitutional principle. It must stay on that and it shouldnt happen.
As the Barrett hearings next week loom large, however, Republicans will turn up the heat on Democrats over their court-packing plans. It could prove to be a potent political weapon in a turbulent election.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.
I would LOVE IT if we hold the senate, gain the house and Trump is re-elected, for obvious reasons, and have Trump and the Repub controlled congress play games with the dems and say now WE WILL PACK THE COURT!!!!!!
If it’s so great why are they remaining silent? Every day it looks worse for them.
"Senator, I am speaking."
If Biden thinks the voters should have a voice in the current opening, they should definitely have a voice in three or four new seats on the court. He won’t answer because he knows what he wants to do is unpopular.
Republicans need to DEFINE court-packing. Believe it or not, there are many who believe Republicans have been “packing” the court by confirming so many judges. Democrats have been trying to misapply the definition to mean confirming lots of judges. Republicans need to call it “expanding and politicizing” the judiciary, or some other similar nugget. They are losing time.
Republicans need to explain what “packing the court” means. Most people I’ve talked to think it just means Republicans getting as many conservatives on the current 9-justice court as possible, and vice versa for the Democrats. They have no idea it means adding more justices.
The Democrats have the media narrative all planned out to Election Day. This will mess up the racism narrative.
Republicans will turn up the heat on Democrats
When has that ever happened?
Yes, 15 justices.
Trump has a list
First thing he needs to do is announce that hes looking at the idea of adding more justices. The humorless Dims would go ape-scat.
"The Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary, as distinguished from technical, meaning; where the intention is clear, there is no room for construction and no excuse for interpolation or addition [emphasis added].." United States v. Sprague, 1931.
"The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819.
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure." Thomas Jefferson to William Johnson, 1823."
"Beware of English-to-English translations of the Constitution!" me
Send "Orange Man Bad" federal and state government desperate Democrats home in November!
Supporting PDJT with a new patriot Congress and state government leaders that will promise to fully support his already excellent work for MAGA and stopping SARS-CoV-2 will effectively give fast-working Trump a "third term" in office imo.
I dont see any problem with voting Republican ticket for 2020 elections.
Republicans HAVE NOT BEEN PACKING THE COURTS.
PACKING refers to not just filling existing vacancies and appointing people to those vacancies.
PACKING refers to scotus in this case, to increase the numbers of justices so that when appointments occur, the majority party now has a majority of justices that will vote for the current majority party.
Its not just filling seats. Filling seats through a term is normal political behavior. Packing is about changing the number of justices so you can then fill more seats than you otherwise would be able to, to give you a majority you otherwise would not have been able to achieve.
FDR tried this crap and no one on either side wanted to docthis, they blatantly knew what this would mean, and howmthose kangaroo court rulings would have been viewed.
“i will just keep adding justices to a court until i am guaranteed to get the rulings I want”. THIS IS PACKING.
Presidents filling existing vacancies or filling spots on a newly congressional-created court, is normal presidential behavior.
Flashback: Kamala Harris said she was open to packing Supreme Court to shift balance away from conservatives
We have to take this challenge head-on, and everything is on the table to do that, she said.
2020 Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris went on record last year saying she might support adding additional seats to the Supreme Court, in an effort to swing the ideological balance of the judicial branch back to the left.
Beginning with Robert Borks failed nomination by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and continuing up until the most recent nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh Senate confirmation fights have turned into political do-or-dies for both sides of the aisle, as reflected by Harris past comments to Politico.
We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court, Harris said last March, according to Politico. We have to take this challenge head-on, and everything is on the table to do that. Harris also reportedly shared similar sentiments with the New York Times, saying she was absolutely open to packing the court. The California Democrat was not the only member of her partys presidential hopefuls to commit to a court-packing strategy if Trump continued to see success in reshaping the high court. Some even offered proposals to add up to 10 more members. Though justices are nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate judicial nominees were not thought to be an absolute issue. More often than not, Republicans and Democrats were capable of compromise. In the last several decades, however, the country has seen a historic escalation that has shattered any expectation of bipartisan unity on the matter.
Sens.Cory Booker, D-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., all signaled an openness to overhauling the court if they became president. Progressive groups have also devoted funding to push the message to the public, in an effort to tap into perceived liberal anger over Trumps judicial efficiency.
First they steal a Supreme Court seat, and then they turn around and change the rules on the filibuster on a Supreme Court seat, Warren said during a podcast interview last year. So when it swings back to us what are we going to do? I think all the options are on the table.SNIP
But you would be surprised how many people out there do NOT understand this. They are absolutely capable of believing Republicans are packing the court by filling seats with "right wing" judges. They do NOT understand democrats plan to expand courts to create more politically activist judicial circuits.
Republicans need to explain packing as EXPANDING, every time they address it
For comparison, the Norwegian Supreme Court has 20 Justices.
Most cases are heard by a rotating (changes every 5 weeks) panel of 5 Justices.
I'd rather see them go for a Constitutional Amendment to set the Supreme Court at 9 and the other courts at whatever they are now as well.
Yes, and it shows. Nowhere did I read in the story that packing the court would become a nightmare for Biden.
Democrats are deliberately trying to call filling seats, court packing. They are trying to make uninformed people think if Republicans get to do it, why not democrats . . . its why I believe Trump needs to be taking about what IS packing, as opposed to what democrats are selling.
Democrat are deliberately trying to call filling seats, court packing. They are trying to make uninformed people think if Republicans get to do it, why not democrats . . . its why I believe Trump needs to be taking about what IS packing, as opposed to what democrats are selling.
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