Echoing an argument that has been made in leftist media for two straight days, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Saturday that Democrats should completely trash the integrity of the Supreme Court by simply expanding the number of justices until liberals once again have the majority. Nadler, incensed that Trump and Senate Republicans are moving full steam ahead to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a new justice, said that packing the court will be the only option left to the Democratic Party.
“If Sen. McConnell and the Senate GOP were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session—before a new Senate and president can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” Nadler tweeted. “Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame-duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials.”
“Congress would have to act,” he concluded, “and expanding the court would be the right place to start.”
So, correct us if we’re wrong, but if this is the Democratic strategy while Republicans are still in power, couldn’t Trump and McConnell decide now to go ahead and preempt any of this by packing the court in the favor of conservatives? Not that we’re endorsing that move, but we’re just saying…maybe it’s not the wisest thing to be telegraphing ahead of time.
In remarks to reporters on Friday, Joe Biden (of course) insisted that Trump not nominate a new justice.
“The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden said. “This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost ten months to go before the election. That’s the position the United States Senate needs to take today.”
Oh, Joe. Good try. But McConnell made it clear in 2016 that the reason Merrick Garland would not get a vote was because the last time Americans voted – the 2014 midterms – they gave Republicans a majority on Capitol Hill, suggesting that they wanted the GOP to act as a stop against Obama’s runaway liberalism train.
Now, you can take that logic and believe it, or you can accuse McConnell of keeping his tongue firmly planted in cheek as he dreamed up a political fig leaf, it really doesn’t matter. The fact remains that the situation is not the same in 2020 as it was in 2016. Trump still has another possible term to go, and voters kept Republicans in the Senate majority in 2018.
As for Democrats threatening to pack the court? Well, first they’re going to have to win back the Senate and the White House. So now we have one more big reason to make sure they don’t.