The headline seems like something straight out of The Onion, but unfortunately, it isn’t. Leading Democratic politicians and presidential candidates are threatening to “restructure” the Supreme Court if the court doesn’t change its ways.
The thinly-veiled threats, which are a blatant assault on justices that dare to issue rulings that liberals don’t like, make it clear that the next Democratic president will take drastic action to ensure that the Supreme Court becomes a liberal ally and remains so long-term. Packing seems to be the favorite strategy for many Democrat presidential candidates, including Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg; however, it isn’t the only one. Sen. Bernie Sanders is taking about “rotating” Supreme Court justices in order to clear the way for a new liberal majority on the court.
While Democrats have naturally been furious about the Supreme Court’s conservative majority for some time, it is the recent New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York case that is sparking Democrat fury. The case was brought against NYC over its new rules restricting how and where gun owners could transport legal firearms. However, it has the potential to eventually reach the Supreme Court, and a Supreme Court ruling on the matter would impact how the entire country implements this policy.
A number of Democrat senators have filed a brief stating that the Supreme Court “isn’t well” and should “reduce its involvement in politics” lest the “public demand that it be restructured.” Senators who signed the brief include Sen. Maize Hirono, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Democratic politicians are defending their assault on the Supreme Court by pointing out that the conservative majority has ruled together on many cases that have a large impact on the whole country. While this is certainly the case, there have also been plenty of 5-4 rulings that have benefited liberals, including the 2014 ruling allowing Obamacare to take effect, and the 2015 ruling allowing gay marriage throughout the United States.
What is more, Justice Neil Gorsuch (a Trump nominee) has sided with liberal justices on the court on more than one occasion. Democratic politicians threatening the court are also ignoring the fact that liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer have spoken out against court packing. Most voters don’t even want the court packed in the first place, as they prefer changes such as mandated term limits to an all-out free for all with no limitations.
The Democratic Party still hasn’t been able to accept the fact that it lost the 2016 presidential election and very likely won’t win the 2020 one. Instead of looking for solutions to the many problems the country faces, it is threatening those who dare to disagree with it.
The bizarre recent brief filed in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York case makes it clear that Senators view the Supreme Court as a threat to their power rather than a vital third branch of government.
If a Democratic president takes power in 2021, the Supreme Court will likely undergo drastic changes. However, an important fact that many liberal senators may not have realized is that drastic action taken by a future Democrat president can also be taken by a future Republican one. They really shouldn’t be playing games like this.