The Democrats, stinking drunk with power despite an election outcome that very much warns them off excesses, are running full-steam-ahead with a progressive agenda, and that includes an effort to “pack” the Supreme court i.e. add several seats (which they will fill) in order to tilt the Court’s ideology in their favor.

They and their apologists argue that this is necessary to “correct” the three seats that Trump filled, a most absurd argument that tells us what they think of our system of checks and balances (i.e. not much, if anything at all) and shows us their level of respect for the will of the people (i.e. they still refuse to accept that Trump was voted into office, and they’re going hog-wild trying to undo everything he did so as to erase him from history.

All this ignores the fact that the Court has not even considered, let alone ruled on, any significant legislation or action born of this Administration and/or Congress. In other words, they’re looking to declaw the Court before it even has a chance to scratch them.

The more overt members of Congress have put forth legislation to add four seats, even as Biden (who argued strongly against court packing years back) slow-plays his own move in that direction with the appointment of a (purportedly bipartisan but heavily stacked) committee to assess the matter (and we all know that the answer therefrom will be used to justify an attempt). Pelosi is playing the same game, notifying us that she’s not going to bring the matter to a vote, but will listen to what the committee says. This is all duck-and-cover shenanigans, of course, intended to let the idea bake into the electorate and to let the various spinners and apologists browbeat the mainstream into thinking that this should happen, or at least not be opposed.

Why, though? This Court hasn’t done anything to the Left yet. Now, it’s more probable that this Court will tell the Democrats “no” in response to excessive application of government than one with a more purportedly leftward lean, but it’s not a given. There are examples of Ginsburg/Breyer/Sotomayor/Kagan siding with limited government and individual liberty arguments, and even more examples of Roberts/Scalia/Alito/Thomas granting deference to Big Government (with Kennedy the purported swing vote) to inform us that the Court doesn’t reliably break in lockstep with current ideological divides. In other words, the Justices do take their oath to the Constitution seriously, something that most legislators do not.

There are a couple explanations for this brash move, one that hasn’t been tried since FDR was thoroughly chastised by his Congress for attempting:

Let us of the Seventy-fifth Congress, in words that will never be disregarded by any succeeding Congress, declare that we would rather have an independent Court, a fearless Court, a Court that will dare to announce its honest opinions in what it believes to be the defense of the liberties of the people, than a Court that, out of fear or sense of obligation to the appointing power, or factional passion, approves any measure we may enact.

  • The Left knows that its agenda runs afoul of the Constitution, and wants to neuter the only enforcement arm the Constitution has defending it.

  • The Left recognizes the high probability that it will lose the House in the mid-terms, meaning that for the following two years at least, there will be legislative gridlock, and the only path for its agenda will be via continued Executive Orders – where a Court that isn’t tamed is even more likely to say “no, you can’t.”

  • The Left recognizes that they may lose the Senate come 2022, meaning they won’t be able to appoint hard-left Justices to fill vacancies. Breyer, at 82, is a decade older than the next-oldest Justice, and a Republican Senate would mean that Biden would need to nominate a centrist should Breyer’s seat need to be filled after the mid-terms.

  • The fury over Trump’s victory has motivated them to engage in an irrational effort to scrub that event and all that ensued from the books.

Irrational, in that the fallout from a court-packing will be far greater than the stampede of leftist legislation and executive orders currently being whipped up by the Democrats. Such an action will ensure that the Court is no longer an independent leg of our tri-partite government, co-equal to Congress and the Presidency, but rather a political football to be possessed by whichever team happens to be in charge at any given time. For, to achieve this Court packing against the wishes of the Republicans, the Democrats will have to eliminate the filibuster entirely, meaning that any 50+1 Senate plus House majority can simply add more Justices to the Court.

Believe you me – this is exactly what the Republicans will do when next they take power, if the Democrats go down this path.

Of course, some believe that the Democrats will succeed in their aspirational efforts to so game the system as to ensure they will never lose again, but as I’ve blogged many times, Americans are an ornery bunch, and a system so gamed as to ensure one-party rule is a system that will be torn up rather promptly by its roots. It takes a special sort of echo-chamber delusion to conclude that the Dems will stay in power forever (and the haste with which they’re trying to change things tells me that even they don’t believe that mythology).

This all reeks of insufficient consideration of the long-term effects. Of course, that is stock-in-trade for politicians, and the Democrats have Harry Reid’s short-sightedness to thank for the three Trump appointees to the Court.

Who knows, though? Perhaps the Dems believe that this action is what their base wants. Not the yapping chihuahuas that comprise the Twitter-verse and the progressive wing, but the broader base whose good graces is the key to elections. It’s hard to square that up, however, given that so much of their agenda doesn’t really play to that base.

So, why pack the Court? Ultimately, I do think it comes down to the persistence of TDS in their brain-pans. It’s not logical, it’s not going to get them to where they want to be, it’ll break the nation, but it looks as if they’re going to try anyway.

A footnote: It does occur to me that this may also be a dog-and-pony show aimed at the progressives, with no intent to actually follow through, so they can say “we tried” but not do the damage they know will be result. That is more nuanced and Machiavellian than I believe they are capable of, but it remains a possibility.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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