Democrat control of Congress this year has been defined by one attempted power grab after another.
And now, we can add court packing to the list.
Democrats’ wildly unpopular proposal to add four new justices to the Supreme Court is a nakedly political power grab that threatens the impartial rule of law and judicial independence. Every American should be troubled by this full-on assault on our constitutional system of checks and balances.
Let’s dispense with any pretense of principle we might hear coming from the other side. Democrats’ court packing push boils down to one thing: tipping the court in their favor so they can circumvent the legislative process and impose their extreme agenda on the rest of the country. It’s no coincidence Democrats’ idea of “restoring balance” to the court just so happens to mean adding the exact number of seats that would give them a progressive majority.
It is hard to imagine anything that would fly further in the face of our Founders’ vision of a completely independent judiciary more than changing the nature of our nation’s highest court purely for partisan gain.
Even worse, packing the court would do lasting damage to one of the few remaining institutions Americans still regard as trustworthy.
But don’t take my word for it. Democrats and other liberals are also on record rejecting this radical idea.
Once upon a time, then-Senator Joe Biden called court packing a “boneheaded idea” and a “terrible mistake.”
Senator Bernie Sanders has said adding more justices to the court is “not the ultimate solution.”
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called court packing a “bad idea.” She was right, as is Justice Stephen Breyer when he says adding more justices would erode trust and the public’s confidence in the courts.
So what changed for Democrats like Senator Ed Markey, the legislation’s lead sponsor, who only a few years ago supported a nine justice Supreme Court?
Politics, pure and simple. Democrats thought court packing was a bad idea when they were out of power, and now they think it is a great one.
Some of their urgency to pack the court no doubt also stems from a string of recent Supreme Court decisions that uphold religious liberty.
It’s true that seeing Americans exercising their rights free from government control is a major stumbling block for many on the Left. But Supreme Court decisions Democrats happen to disagree with is no reason to abandon more than 150 years of bipartisan precedent that has served our country well.
In the last election, Joe Biden cast himself as someone who would be a restorer of political norms. Nothing would be more norm-shattering than upending judicial independence for the sake of political expediency.
That is why Joe Biden should actually lead and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to speak out against his party’s efforts to undermine the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, nothing up to this point suggests that Biden will.
Instead of the bipartisanship and unity he campaigned on, as president Biden has been a rubber stamp for the most radical agenda in American history.
Facing his left flank, Biden couldn’t even bring himself to condemn his party’s baseless calls to boycott Georgia’s small businesses. Far from speaking out against the bullying tactics, Biden emerged as the boycott’s loudest cheerleader.
For the sake of the future of judicial independence, however, let’s hope Biden doesn’t cave to the far-left once again when it comes to packing the court.
Joe Biden should use this opportunity to demonstrate he was serious about trying to bring the country together, show some backbone, and reject this radical power grab once and for all.
Harmeet K. Dhillon is the CEO and founder of the Center for American Liberty, the co-chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association, the RNC Committeewoman for California, and a trial lawyer at Dhillon Law Group in San Francisco.