Opinion Hey Democrats: Court-Packing Isn’t The Answer. This Is.

05:15  19 october  2020
05:15  19 october  2020 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Biden says voters 'don't deserve' to know his stance on court packing

  Biden says voters 'don't deserve' to know his stance on court packing Joe Biden said on Friday that American voters 'don't deserve' to know his stance on packing the Supreme Court in remarks made to a reporter in Las Vegas, Nevada, during a campaignn stop.The Democratic nominee reiterated his stance during an interview on Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada, while taking questions from the media.

If Democrats win the presidency and the Senate, they should set 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices—effective immediately and applying to Democrats ’ only recourse, many have argued, is to increase the size of the court—“ Court - packing ” is the derogatory term—to offset the illegitimate

As early as the spring of 2019, the former New York mayor was seen as a conduit for Russia’s evolving efforts to manipulate the forthcoming election. Hey Democrats : Court - Packing Isn ’ t The Answer . This Is .

Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation is a done deal. Democrats don’t have the votes, and not enough Republicans have the principles.

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Democrats’ only recourse, many have argued, is to increase the size of the court—“court-packing” is the derogatory term—to offset the illegitimate appointments of Justice Gorsuch (after the stonewalling of Should’ve-Been-Justice Garland) and Justice Barrett. Presuming they win the presidency and flip the Senate, of course.

Joe Biden has notably refused to take “court-packing” off the table, but the idea doesn’t poll well, and there are real reasons to fear it—not least the likelihood that Republicans would retaliate as soon as they’re able to do so. A better alternative is setting 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices—effective immediately.

Democrats attempt to redefine 'court packing' ahead of Coney Barrett confirmation hearing

  Democrats attempt to redefine 'court packing' ahead of Coney Barrett confirmation hearing Senate Democrats and the Biden campaign, under scrutiny for a plan to expand seats on the Supreme Court, went on the offensive Sunday, claiming it is Republicans who are packing the courts. © Provided by Washington Examiner Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued on Fox News Sunday the Republicans pushing through President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the inauguration in January is an example of court packing, despite the term’s technical meaning related to expanding the number of seats on the court.

That may have been true for all of about a day following the death of George Floyd back in May, and some of the protesters no doubt still feel that they’re fighting the good fight. But far more have taken to the streets to commit brazen acts of violence, looting, and criminality.

Joe Biden says he IS open to court - packing despite not being a 'fan' and will tell voters his final position Biden said he's been reluctant to answer the question because it would put the focus on him and not what ' This is the thing the president loves to do, always take our eye off the ball,' Biden said.

First, term limits, in general, are a very, very good idea. Justice Barrett may well serve until 2060. That’s ridiculous. The stakes of Supreme Court appointments are just too high, and the timing too arbitrary, leading to the life-or-death partisan battles we’ve seen in the last decade.

Term limits are also an “originalist” idea. In 1793, the life expectancy for a white male was 36.5 years. Even adjusting that upward for educated and propertied white males, no one appointed to the Supreme Court would be likely to live more than two decades. Setting a roughly two-decade term limit now would honor the Founders’ original sense of how long a justice should serve.

(Historical footnote: Chief Justice John Marshall lived to age 80 and served on the court for 29 years. But he was an exception.)

Sen. Sasse Calls Out Dems for Trying to Muddy Definition of Court Packing

  Sen. Sasse Calls Out Dems for Trying to Muddy Definition of Court Packing “Court-packing is not judicial reform,” the Nebraska Republican said. “Court-packing is destroying the system we have now.” Over the weekend, Democratic lawmakers accused their political opponents of hypocrisy, saying Republicans have been “packing the court” for years and that Barrett’s nomination “constitutes court-packing.” “It’s rushed, it constitutes court packing, and her views are too extreme to qualify her to serve on this court,” Senator Chris Coons (D., Del.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday.

“Are you going to pack the court ,” Trump interjected, before chirping: “He doesn’ t want to answer that question.” “I’m not going to answer the question,” Biden said. When Trump again tried to interrupt, suggesting that the Democrats would add “radical left” judges to the court , Biden lost his temper.

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Indeed, as recently as the 1960s, the average Supreme Court justice’s term was 15 years. Today, it is 28.

“No single individual in a democracy should hold the amount of power a justice has for 30 or 35 years,” Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, a leading term-limit organization, told the Daily Beast.

In addition, too much of the current system depends on luck, which is one reason Republicans are making themselves look like idiots to put another conservative on the bench now: who knows when the next opportunity may arise? In contrast, Roth says that “term limits would bring predictability and fairness to the appointment process.”

The concept of Supreme Court term limits has been floating around for some time now, with various proposals being considered. It has bipartisan support; the 18-year figure, meant to synchronize terms with non-election years, was first proposed by Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi.

Packing the Supreme Court could portend the end of the republic

  Packing the Supreme Court could portend the end of the republic A Supreme Court packed with activist judges who are amenable to the Democrats’ interpretation of a living Constitution, also known as loose constructionism, would be a watershed moment. As Sen. Burton Wheeler, a Democrat who opposed then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1937 court-packing plan, said, "Create now a political court to echo the ideas of the Executive and you have created a weapon. A weapon which, in the hands of another President in times of war or other hysteria, could well be an instrument of destruction.

Most of us, says Marlon James, are non-racist. While that leaves us with a clear conscience, he argues, it does nothing to help fight injustice in the world.

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Last month, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, three House Democrats introduced a bill, based on Roth’s model, setting Supreme Court terms at 18 years, with terms beginning in the first and third years of a presidential term.

So far, though, all the major proposals for term limits exempt sitting justices. The reason, Roth says, is that senior justices, like RBG, are often “revered figures on left and right… and if you're introducing a bill that kicks one or two of these figures off the high court, you've already lost a large chunk of people who might go along with you.”

But that’s just politics. There’s no reason Congress couldn’t apply new limits to sitting justices. And in fact that are good reasons to do so.

If 18-year term limits were passed in January, with no exemption, Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer would have to retire immediately.

That’s a nice ideological balance—Thomas is on the Right, Breyer on the Left—so it doesn’t reek of revenge. At the same time, since it would present President Biden and the Democrats with two vacancies, it would also offset the illegitimate confirmation of Justice Barrett.

Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court hearings lacked the drama that Brett Kavanaugh's proceedings had. Here's why.

  Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court hearings lacked the drama that Brett Kavanaugh's proceedings had. Here's why. Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearings lacked the drama of Brett Kavanaugh's proceedings. Here's why.Democrats warned of the precedent set if Republicans rushed through a nominee in the middle of a pandemic and presidential election, arguing no nominee should be considered until after voters cast ballots. They rattled off threats to slow the process, teasing a host of tools that could bog down the hearings, with some lawmakers even publicly suggesting launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

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In this way, term limits address Republican “court-packing” without the need for Democratic “court-packing.” There’s no cycle of revenge. The ideological balance before Justice Barrett’s appointment is restored, the number of justices stays at nine, and the damage to the institution is lessened.

Indeed, shifting the balance by only one justice is favorable to Republicans. After all, if Judge Garland’s stolen seat is factored in, the balance should shift by two, not one. So this proposal is even a kind of compromise, though probably it wouldn’t be viewed that way.

Now, it may seem unfair or disrespectful to suddenly shift the employment terms of sitting Supreme Court justices. There’s arguably a constitutional case that could be made as well: Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” That suggests that they may not be forced to retire unless they’ve been impeached.

But both the equitable and constitutional arguments really only apply if specific justices are being singled out. If it’s a general change in policy—and one that happens to affect justices appointed by presidents from both parties—they don’t seem as persuasive.

Moreover, post-term justices could remain on the court as Senior Justices, still hearing cases involving the court’s “original jurisdiction” (cases between two states, for example), assisting in grants of review, or filling in when justices must recuse themselves. And still retaining their salary and tenure for life.

Immediate term limits are an elegantly simple solution to a uniquely complicated problem. They address the long-term brokenness of the current system, and they remedy the short-term inequity caused by the Barrett confirmation. They likely allow abortion and same-sex marriage rights to survive. (Though presumably not the Affordable Care Act, which will be struck down by the court sitting at next month’s hearings.)

And they do all this without the more radical transformation of increasing the ourt’s size, and the slippery slope that might invite. If Democrats retake the Senate, they should pass term limits without delay.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Pack the court? Battles between Republicans and Democrats fuel clash over Supreme Court's future .
The Constitution does not set the number of justices. Created in 1789 with six, the court has veered from five to 10, settling at nine 150 years ago.Fuming at what President Donald Trump and Republicans have done since 2016 to turn the court to the right, they could fight back with legislation, Senate rules changes – even by granting statehood (and two Senate seats) to the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico.

usr: 3
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