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Politics Court-packing is not popular, but Democrats may do it anyway if they win

14:05  23 october  2020
14:05  23 october  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Fact check: Post online misquotes Biden on court-packing amid debate over size of Supreme Court

  Fact check: Post online misquotes Biden on court-packing amid debate over size of Supreme Court Joe Biden never said the “day after” he’s elected, people will “know what he stands for.” A Google search of the exact quote turned up no results. He did make a similar comment on Oct. 8 regarding the topic of court-packing, which is the idea of expanding the size of the Supreme Court. It was most famously suggested by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1930s, according to the New York Times.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is hurtling toward confirmation, potentially entrenching a durable conservative majority on the Supreme Court if the number of justices remains nine.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Washington Examiner

That is the top concern conservatives have: If the Democrats win the White House and the Senate, her placement on the Supreme Court by a president they detest and will have then defeated, with the votes of Republican senators who would not grant Democratic nominee Judge Merrick Garland a hearing in an election year, will push them inexorably toward court-packing legislation.

The Democrats’ decision to boycott the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Barrett, allowing her nomination to be advanced to the full chamber by a unanimous 12-0 vote, was an admission there is little they can do to stop her. The 48-year-old performed well in the committee hearings, and Democrats failed to identify any issue that would potentially derail her, two years after the contentious Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight.

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.

Public opinion has moved in Barrett’s favor. A Gallup poll found that 51% of people wanted her to be seated, making her more popular than Kavanaugh, Justice Neil Gorsuch, or President Trump, despite the opposition of 84% of Democrats.

Democrats are especially outraged that Trump will likely get to replace iconic liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “There is a nakedly political aspect to rushing to get this done,” said Democratic strategist Spencer Critchley. “When the president himself has blurted out the political reasons for doing this.”

Some leading Democrats have said that if they win the presidency and Senate following Barrett’s confirmation, they should proceed with legislation to expand the Supreme Court to allow for the nomination of additional liberal justices. This includes the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Amy Coney Barrett hearings conclude: Here's what happens next in Supreme Court confirmation

  Amy Coney Barrett hearings conclude: Here's what happens next in Supreme Court confirmation Here’s what to expect and when she could officially be sworn in as the ninth justice on the Supreme Court. More: Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court hearings conclude, paving way for confirmation days before election More: How we got here: The battle over Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court, recapped Committee vote Oct. 22 The Senate Judiciary Committee – the same 22-senator panel that spent the week questioning Barrett – will vote on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. EDT on Barrett’s nomination.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have declined to endorse court-packing, though they have also pointedly refused to rule it out. Biden said in an interview taped Monday that he wants a commission to study the issue. Democrats challenging incumbent Republican senators have often opposed it. A recent Washington Examiner/YouGov poll confirmed the idea is unpopular.

“We are strongly of the opinion that we need to keep the Supreme Court's numbers the same,” said Paul Summers, a former Tennessee attorney general who is part of a bipartisan group mobilizing against such proposals. He argues court-packing would turn the Supreme Court into a super-legislature and that both parties would engage in it when they held power, with no logical stopping point.

There nevertheless remains the sense that if Barrett is confirmed and continually sides with the conservative bloc, Democratic support for court-packing will grow. “We’d have to be crazy not to do it,” said a Democratic operative. This could push institutionalists appointed by Republican presidents to side with the liberal bloc on some controversial decisions to undercut support for court-packing. “Intimidating Chief Justice [John] Roberts is part of the strategy,” said a conservative court watcher.

President Trump has kept his promise to remake the federal bench, including the Supreme Court

  President Trump has kept his promise to remake the federal bench, including the Supreme Court Trump has become the first president since Richard Nixon to name three judges to the Supreme Court in a first term.With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy created by the death  of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump has become the first president since Richard Nixon to name three judges to the nation's highest court during a first term.

Controversies that could provoke the Democrats on court-packing could come as soon as next month if there is litigation about the presidential election that ends up before the Supreme Court. There could also be cases involving abortion and Obamacare.

Few conservatives favor shelving the Barrett nomination over these concerns. They point to Republican attempts to deescalate the Supreme Court nomination wars by voting overwhelmingly for Bill Clinton’s nominees — only three GOP senators opposed Ginsburg — after the rejection of Robert Bork and the narrow confirmation of Clarence Thomas after a bruising fight. Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during this time. Senate Democrats then filibustered some of George W. Bush’s lower-court nominees after he succeeded Clinton.

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, has introduced a single-sentence constitutional amendment: “The Supreme Court of the United States shall be composed of nine justices.” Summers floated the idea of advancing the amendment through a convention of the states, a process allowed by the Constitution but never utilized, if Democrats control both houses of Congress.

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.

Tags: News, Campaigns, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020, Amy Coney Barrett, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, Nominations, Supreme Court, Ted Cruz

Original Author: W. James Antle III

Original Location: Court-packing is not popular, but Democrats may do it anyway if they win

Jonathan Turley: Here are the worst proposals to reform Supreme Court .
Democrats continue to send out more ideas to secure voters.The problem is that the line the Senate will step over is set by the Constitution, while the proposals by Democrats would retaliate against the use of a power granted by the Constitution. Democrats are floating a parade of horribles to "reform" the Supreme Court and negate its growing conservative majority. Biden said this week that the court is "out of whack" and, as president, he would assemble a commission of "experts" to explore "a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing." The commission would report to him 180 days after his inauguration.

usr: 3
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