Democrats are threatening to pack the Supreme Court or otherwise “reform” it if the Court deals a blow to Roe v. Wade, according to an article published by The Hill.
SCOTUS is scheduled to hear a case about a new Mississippi law that restricts abortions after 15 weeks except in cases of “extreme fetal abnormality” or medical emergency.
The case is seen as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
With the case upcoming, Democrats are sending political signals to the court, threatening to pack it or institute other “reforms” if they don’t get their way.
A decision is not expected to be handed down until next year, an election year. And while no one will come out and say that a Democrat Congress would immediately move to add justices to the court, the implication is that there would be “momentum” to do so.
If Roe were the stable law of the land, the Mississippi law couldn’t have even gotten out of the gate. As it is, it’s designed as a vehicle to get the court to reconsider Roe.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) May 17, 2021
Another Tantrum Thrown By Democrats If They Don’t Get Their Way
The modern incarnation of court packing has been floating around for a while.
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The Democrats have never gotten over then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to have hearings and a vote on Merrick Garland, Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The fact Donald Trump was able to get three conservative judges to the Court has also been a sticky point for Democrats, to say the least.
Since then, the Democrats have been looking for a way to “get back” at Republicans. Prior to the 2020 presidential election, Democrats began to slip court-packing into conversations.
The issue became a focus of the 2020 election, when Biden refused for months to answer whether or not he supported the idea.
Eventually, Biden stated in October of 2020 that he “was not a fan” of court packing, but Vice President Kamala Harris would not say if she favored such a move.
Democrats have held on for dear life to the idea, and in April, House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation to expand the Court from nine to 13.
Any decision in the Mississippi abortion case wouldn’t come until next June. By that time, Congress won’t be passing any legislation, let alone something as controversial as court-packing. But Democrats have to keep the pretense alive to satisfy the base. https://t.co/buWG2WYcS1
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) May 24, 2021
What Democrats Are Saying About Court Packing If Mississippi Law Is Upheld
Some Democrats have been outspoken about what they think might happen should the Supreme Court uphold the Mississippi law.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “It will inevitably fuel and drive an effort to expand the Supreme Court if this activist majority betrays fundamental constitutional principles.”
Blumenthal added, “Chipping away at Roe v. Wade will precipitate a seismic movement to reform the Supreme Court. It may not be expanding the Supreme Court, it may be making changes to its jurisdiction, or requiring a certain numbers of votes to strike down certain past precedents.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), said,“It really enlivens the concerns that we have about the extent to which right-wing billionaire money has influenced the makeup of the court and may even be pulling strings at the court.”
Whitehouse added that there were “a whole array of options” the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court that President Joe Biden created by executive order was looking at.
I sent a letter to members of President Biden’s Supreme Court Commission highlighting key questions about special-interest influence over our judiciary. Until we tackle this problem, we cannot achieve meaningful reform, nor restore Americans’ faith in the Court’s integrity.
— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) May 18, 2021
The Left Is Scared
Democrat lawmakers are scared and under pressure from their base.
With a 50-50 Senate, they do not have the votes to end the filibuster, which is what would need to happen for Democrats to have a simple majority and vote to pack the Court. Needless to say, the filibuster is no longer the Democrats’ friend.
Trying to legislate with a GOP packed Supreme Court and the Jim Crow filibuster is always 1 step forward, 3 steps back.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 21, 2021
Yes, this is the same “Jim Crow” filibuster Democrats used on the GOP 327 times in 2020.
Brian Fallon, executive director of a progressive group called Demand Justice, agrees that any infringement on Roe v. Wade will be an incentive to push Democrats to pack the Court. “Groups like ours are doing work every day of the week, 52 weeks a year to build support for that proposal.”
Elliott Mincburg, senior fellow at people for the American Way also says impediments on Roe v. Wade will be 2022 election issues. “Being able to add justices may well depend on first adding more Democratic senators to the Senate, and therefore this could have a significant impact on the midterm elections. Some people on the right may be saying to themselves, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’”
Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice, says that progressives are “galvanized like never before on the issue of the courts.”
But before Republicans get scared that Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court, relax, it’s not “packing.” Just remember, it’s just “rebalancing.”
This must be what happens right after “reimagining” policing.
It would not be packing the court. It would be rebalancing the court after an antidemocratic electoral system allowed a minority party to pack the court. https://t.co/QKRZbsQnFg
— Paul Allen (@PauIAllen) May 21, 2021
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