During the 2020 campaign, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden proposed developing a bipartisan dialog regarding the number of justices to sit on the Supreme Court. This occurred following the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as Associate Justice, thereby putting conservatives firmly in control of the Court. Biden’s proposal was all part of his “unity” themed campaign he promised to America which, of course, was a bald faced lie. Instead of such a dialog, the Democrat controlled Congress has jumped the gun and is now proposing four more seats being added to the court which would enable the Democrats to take political control of the Court.
This legislation is being introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY10), Mondaire Jones (D-NY17), and Hank Johnson (D-GA4), all Democrats. Republicans, of course, were never consulted. So much for “unity.” If enacted, this would allow the court to grow from nine seats to thirteen. In reality, this is a thinly veiled attempt to politicize the supreme court in favor of leftist doctrine and a genuine threat to our Republic.
This is certainly not the first time politicians have tried to change the makeup of the Supreme Court. Let’s begin with this fact; the Court’s size had been set at nine since the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1869, over 150 years ago.
As a point of history, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) also tried to change the makeup of the court during his administration. Prior to this, his government work programs during the Great Depression were regularly rejected by the Court, thereby infuriating the President. To overcome this problem, FDR introduced the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937. This would have allowed him to appoint a justice for every current justice over the age of 70 which, at the time, was six, thereby expanding the court to fifteen and presumably giving the president the votes needed to pass his legislation.
Fortunately, the Bill was defeated as it was considered by Congress as nothing more than an attempt by FDR to pack the court. Both Republicans and Democrats voted against it, including FDR’s Vice President at the time, John Nance Garner.
Just as in 1937, the 2021 Bill is based on political bias and is rightfully considered a court packing scheme by the Democrats. It will be interesting to see how Democrats vote on this legislation this go around. I suspect they will vote along party lines.
My question is simple; if the Democrats insist on doing this, why stop at a thirteen seat Court? Why not 99? Suppose the legislation is passed and thirteen becomes the magic number. What would the Democrats do if the Court is taken over by conservative justices? Increase the number of seats again? Frankly, any number other than nine would be considered a farce.
In other words, let’s uphold the Judiciary Act of 1869 and Keep It Simple Stupid.
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