•   
  •   
  •   

World Blinken and the Lessons of Latin America's Court-Packers | Opinion

14:30  26 october  2021
14:30  26 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Antony Blinken condemns 'packing courts' as 'one of the ways that democracies can come undone'

  Antony Blinken condemns 'packing courts' as 'one of the ways that democracies can come undone' Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned “packing courts” as a threat to democratic systems and governance, during a trip to Latin America that could put him crosswise with a left-wing campaign to enlarge the Supreme Court. © Provided by Washington Examiner “Consider a country where a leader is elected in a free and fair election and then sets about chipping away slowly but surely at the pillars of democracy. ...

Although he surely did not intend to do so, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken dealt the coup de grâce to the radical Left's court packing project this week.

QUITO, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 20: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken speaks on the challenges faced by democracies in the region during a conference as part of his visit to Ecuador at Universidad San Francisco de Quito on October 20, 2021 in Quito, Ecuador. Antony Blinken met with Guillermo Lasso, president of Ecuador, to speak about migration and the commercial relation both countries have. The United States is the main commercial partner of Ecuador. © Felipe Stanley/Agencia Press South/Getty Images QUITO, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 20: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken speaks on the challenges faced by democracies in the region during a conference as part of his visit to Ecuador at Universidad San Francisco de Quito on October 20, 2021 in Quito, Ecuador. Antony Blinken met with Guillermo Lasso, president of Ecuador, to speak about migration and the commercial relation both countries have. The United States is the main commercial partner of Ecuador.

In a speech at a university in Quito, Ecuador, on Wednesday, Blinken outlined the "challenges facing democracies and how we can overcome them." He described the warning signs of a democracy in peril.

Thanks to This ‘Biden Whisperer,’ the World Knows America’s Back

  Thanks to This ‘Biden Whisperer,’ the World Knows America’s Back A new Gallup poll shows a yuge turnaround in how the world sees the United States. Under Donald Trump, our approval rating hit a record low. Under President Biden, it has rebounded to very nearly the highest level ever recorded, almost equal to that achieved during the presidency of Barack Obama. What does the world see in America under Biden’s leadership that so many in the U.S. media have not? The answer is diplomacy. Often quietly, often in ways that do not drive ratings or generate clicks, the U.S. has put active, constructive diplomacy back at the center of our relations with the rest of the world. At the center of this effort is U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"Consider a country where a leader is elected in a free and fair election and then sets about chipping away slowly but surely, at the pillars of democracy—attacking the free press, undermining the independence of the courts, threatening political opponents," he said. "Now, imagine that leader then seeks to use the levers of democracy to pass anti-democratic reforms, eliminating term limits, packing courts, firing legislators."

Blinken added: "That's the story of more than one democracy in our hemisphere. And it's one of the ways that democracies can come undone."

The secretary of state's comments in Quito followed the release of what the White House called "draft preliminary discussion materials" by the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court, which backed away from endorsing court-packing. The commission, packed with law professors, former judges and judicial activists, also tiptoed around the idea of term limits for Supreme Court Justices, a move that would likely require the very long shot of a constitutional amendment (ratification by 38 of the 50 states).

Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams tests positive for COVID-19, could miss key game vs. Cardinals

  Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams tests positive for COVID-19, could miss key game vs. Cardinals Wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry both tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, possibly leaving them out for a key game.With just three days to prepare for a Thursday night game at the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals, the Packers learned that wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive coordinator Joe Barry likely won’t be attending the game because of COVID-19-related issues.

Radical progressives in the United States—blind to or ignorant of the lessons of court-packing in other countries—raged at the commission's draft findings. One left-wing advocacy group said the commission's failure to back court-packing and other reforms "is almost certain to result in this Court continuing to strip away our constitutional rights and undermine our democratic legitimacy as a country."

That's exactly the opposite of what Blinken said in Quito. And he knows his Latin American history.

In 1997, the Peruvian Congress (controlled by allies of President Alberto Fujimori) fired three judges of the constitutional court who opposed the president's bid for reelection. Fujimori has since been imprisoned for crimes against humanity. In 2004, Hugo Chavez expanded the Venezuelan Supreme Court from 20 to 32 judges. Six years later, his regime created nine vacancies on the court by adopting a new rules that gave several judges on the highest court the "authorization" to retire before the end of their 12-year term. Chavez's stacked court inevitably led to a downward spiral that destroyed freedom and judicial independence.

Packers vs. Cardinals live score, updates, highlights from NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ game

  Packers vs. Cardinals live score, updates, highlights from NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ game Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Packers vs. Cardinals on "Thursday Night Football." Follow along for updates from the NFL's Week 8 game.In his third year in the league, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has thrown for over 200 yards in all seven games. The Cardinals have four wide receivers with over 300 receiving yards (DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore) and two running backs with over 300 rushing yards (Chase Edmonds and James Conner). They have the fifth most receiving yards in the league with 2,002, and they have the fifth most rushing yards with 956.

Earlier, in 1989, Argentine president Carlos Menem launched a campaign to pack the Argentine Supreme Court, asking the National Congress to expand the court from five to nine judges to create a favorable majority. "Why should I be the only president in Argentine history not to have my own court?" he said at the time.

Menem's grip on the Argentine Court soon became known throughout the country as the "automatic majority"—a stack of hand-picked judges who regularly ruled in the president's favor, often using highly dubious legal reasoning.

Now imagine President Joe Biden governing with not only a wafer-thin majority in Congress but his "own court." Packed with justices vetted and confirmed by party bosses, the Supreme Court would offer no pushback on even the most extreme elements of Biden's agenda.

Massive, multi-trillion dollar spending bills designed to turn the U.S. economy into a European-style welfare state? Done. Taking elections out of the hands of state legislatures and local officials and turning them over to bureaucrats who rule from the commanding heights in Washington? Done. Rounding up parents at local school board meetings and prosecuting them as "domestic terrorists"? Done. Shutting down worship services and other communal gatherings under the administrative power of public health officials answering to partisan politicians? You bet.

Traditionalists flood Rome after pope's Latin Mass crackdown

  Traditionalists flood Rome after pope's Latin Mass crackdown ROME (AP) — Traditionalist Catholics descended on Rome on Friday for their annual pilgrimage, hoping to show the vibrancy of their community after Pope Francis issued a crackdown on the spread of the old Latin Mass that many took as an attack on them and the ancient rite. An evening vespers service at Rome’s Pantheon basilica, the first event of the three-day pilgrimage, was so full that ushers had to add two rows of chairs to accommodate the faithful. Many young families, couples and priests filled the pews, hailing from the U.S., France, Spain and beyond.

A packed Supreme Court would not only destroy Americans' confidence in the rule of law. Citizens would be discouraged from pursuing legal action against the government. After all, why fight a regime that enjoys full political power when all legal battles would be resolved in its favor at the nation's "court of last resort"? There's your "legitimacy crisis."

Blinken's speech in Ecuador resounded far and wide. He's exactly right that with court-packing "democracies can come undone." That includes ours.

Ignore the lessons of court-packing in Latin America, and those same results—those dire consequences—would inevitably result in the United States.

Jeremy Dys (@JeremyDys) is special counsel for litigation and communications for First Liberty Institute, a non-profit law firm dedicated to defending religious freedom for all Americans. Read more at FirstLiberty.org.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

Related Articles

  • What Progressives Need to Learn About America From the Immigrants They Welcome | Opinion
  • What I Learned From Justice Thomas | Opinion

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

32 things we learned from Week 8 of 2021 NFL season: Frights abound .
As the NFL approaches the midpoint of the regular season, Halloween week featured plenty of ghastly sights for several teams.1. With the Arizona Cardinals suffering their first loss of the season Thursday – the final team to taste defeat – to the scorching (if short-handed) Green Bay Packers, the 2021 campaign looks as wide open as ever. The NFC now has three 7-1 teams (Cards, Pack, Los Angeles Rams) with the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers lurking at 6-2 despite Sunday's surprising loss to the New Orleans Saints and the resilient Dallas Cowboys checking in at 6-1 after their Sunday night triumph at Minnesota without injured QB Dak Prescott.

usr: 1
This is interesting!