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COMMENTARY: Radical Leftist Logic Says ‘Pack the Court to Unpack It’ (What?!)

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January 26, 2024
Unpack the Court - NO | First Liberty Institute

by Jorge Gomez • 8 min read

2024 is underway and the November election is right around the corner. On cue, the radical Left is already laying out its plan to “fix” the U.S. Supreme Court, if things go their way at the ballot box.

The Left-leaning Washington Monthly recently published a lengthy piece titled “How to Fix the Supreme Court.” It argued that “the time has come to connect popular anger over the conservative supermajority with concrete ideas for reform.”

Perhaps it would be more correct to replace the word “fix” with “rig” – “How to Rig the Supreme Court.”

If there’s something to learn from this piece, it’s that proponents of court packing are ready to pounce. Their finger is hovering above the button. They’re ready to bring radical court packing back to the forefront, as well as many other dangerous proposals to restructure the nation’s highest court.

Anything new here to be surprised about? Not really. It’s the same talking points we’ve been heard for years. It’s the same critique you keep reading about the Court, that it has been allegedly “packed” by conservatives, that there are supposed “ethics” scandals and misconduct. It repeats the calls for more Congressional oversight, and the usual trope that to “save democracy,” the Supreme Court must be restructured.

Then there’s the outrageous, downright illogical claim that we must “pack the Court” in order to “unpack it.”

We’ve often heard the Left say that the court has been “packed” with conservative justices, referring to the three justices appointed during the Trump administration. But to be clear, that’s not court-packing. Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett weren’t “packed” on the Court. It was the ordinary political process of placing justices as set forth by the Constitution.

When you hear court-packing, it means exactly what it sounds like. It’s an exercise in adding seats to the bench with the intent of tilting it in one ideological direction. It means expanding the size of the Court. It’s that simple.

David Strom at Hot Air unpacks (ironic cough) this Leftist argument. He explains the real driving force behind it. Because the Supreme Court has not ruled in its favor in recent years, the Left’s “only way to remedy the problem is to expand the court by appointing new, Leftist justices,” and allegedly “restoring the proper balance.”

But while Strom says it’s a “New Spin,” the whole “pack the Court to unpack it” narrative isn’t new. It’s far from a novel idea.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler said the same thing not too long ago. The New York lawmaker co-sponsored the Judiciary Act of 2021—legislation that would add four members to the Court and increase the size to 13.

“We are not packing the Supreme Court, we are unpacking it,” Nadler said at a news conference at the time.

The American people deserve better. Isn’t it borderline insulting to suggest that “packing the Court is unpacking the court?” I think so. Give people credit for knowing the difference between good and bad policy ideas. The numbers show that’s the case.

First Liberty Institute commissioned several polls from Mason Dixon Polling & Strategy. They consistently revealed that between 65 – 68% (TWO-THIRDS!) of Americans oppose adding seats to the Supreme Court.

It’s no coincidence that judicial activists are dusting off the old playbook: manipulate language, distort the past and hide behind euphemisms to try to make extreme ideas more palatable to the average American.

The Supreme Court Coup they’re trying to stage is based on that manipulation. Playing fast and loose with the text of Constitution is what they do. They bend the rules in order to justify overhauling the Supreme Court. Why? Because they no longer control the Court or enjoy the “benefit” of a liberal majority rubber stamping their agenda.

So, as much as the radical Left wants to say that “packing the Court is unpacking it,” the American people aren’t buying it. When it’s called out for what it really is—a brazen power grab—Americans see the real threat.

That’s positive. However, let’s not deny how much damage has already been done to our nation’s judiciary.

Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news. But it’s always better to confront hard truths.

Because the Left is unhappy about recent rulings, it’s actively trying to destroy the Court’s legitimacy. It keeps calling into question the integrity of the Justices, so they can, in turn, undermine the legitimacy of their rulings. And we see how it’s already having a disastrous effect on public trust in the Court. Pew Research found that “favorable views” of the Supreme Court fell to a historic low in 2023. Gallup documents similar trends.

These figures may be discouraging. But the good news is that, when informed, Americans can see past nonsense and clever wordplay. When exposed to the truth and the facts, Americans aren’t fooled. They can discern the dangers behind court packing and many of the far-reaching changes the Left keeps pitching.

Those of us who respect the Constitution and value the Supreme Court and its heritage have work to do. You and I should defend the Supreme Court. Turning a blind eye just isn’t an option. The electoral results could mean the radical Supreme Court Coup comes back, and possibly with a vengeance. Don’t let your guard down.

Supreme Court Coup | No to Court Packing

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