Remember the old days, when we’d all get up at 5 am, put on our work boots, and march down to the Court Packing Plant on the outskirts of town?
Yeah, those were great times -- helping Donald Trump unnaturally expand the number of federal judgeships and Supreme Court Justice slots just so he could fill them with black-robed oligarchs who were ideologically servile to The Orange Goblin.
And, despite this being as fictional as the Land of Oz - because Trump hasn’t expanded the courts just so he can fill them - it’s similar to the latest defense-tactic yarn that, it seems, many big-wig leftists decided to spin on their political looms and drape across numerous television networks this past weekend.
We saw a preview of it last Wednesday, in the Vice-Presidential “Debate.” That’s when the completely “color-blind” California Senator Kamala Harris decided she’d tell us about her “I’m-not-race-baiting” Never-Never Land in which, when Mike Pence repeatedly asked her if she and Joe Biden were interested in expanding the Supreme Court just to add leftist Justices, she said:
“Of the 50 people who president Trump appointed to the Court of Appeals, not one is black. You want to talk about packing a court? Let’s have that discussion.”
Which, of course, dodges the question, and implies that if people aren’t black, they must all view the Constitution in the same way, and also implies its corollary: the idea that race, especially blackness, has some magical “uniformity” effect on how one reads the “rules” for the US.
Woe unto anyone who might actually, possibly, ask that, regardless of skin color, people promise to actually abide by the so-called “rule book” of the Constitution as written and amended. Its wording is clear, and the Amendment process allows for changes without “interpretation” based on Harris’s seeming racial preferences, or any other distinction.
And after that duck n’ cover move pulled on Wednesday, Harris’ Power Pals decided to offer some weekend cartoon-like performances to push the narrative even harder. Thus, the heroic figure of Senate Judiciary Committee member, Illinois Democrat Senator Richard “Walgreens” Durbin (yes, that hyperlink is fun) appeared Sunday with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet The Press” to offer this piece of verbal jujitsu:
It’s a common question being asked because the American people have watched the Republicans packing the court on bias the past three-and-a-half years and brag about it. They’ve taken every vacancy and filled it.
Which is supposed to be part of the job description of the Chief Executive, based on the federal court system already constitutionally arranged by the Congress to stand above the state supreme courts and beneath the U.S. Supreme Court. Vacancies appeared, Trump nominated, and the Senate (that would be the Senate in which Durbin operates and from which he receives a hefty six-figure salary that’s virtually impossible for us citizens to stop growing) approves.
As a reminder, here’s Article Two, Section Two, Clause Two, of “The Paper” Barack Obama called the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
He (the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Yet Durbin calls this “court packing," implying that the process of Trump merely nominating judges to slots that open is somehow akin to something like FDR’s attempt to actually pack the Supreme Court so his insult to the Constitution known as Social Security would survive.
His plan was to expand the number of SCOTUS seats and offer special benefits to sitting justices who retired. Here’s what that worm of an idea looked like, as described by Federal Judicial Center, a function of the US Judicial Branch:
February 5, 1937… After winning the 1936 presidential election in a landslide, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a bill to expand the membership of the Supreme Court. The law would have added one justice to the Court for each justice over the age of 70, with a maximum of six additional justices. Roosevelt’s motive was clear – to shape the ideological balance of the Court so that it would cease striking down his New Deal legislation. As a result, the plan was widely and vehemently criticized. The law was never enacted by Congress, and Roosevelt lost a great deal of political support for having proposed it.
But, like the strictures of the Constitution, the actual meaning of “court packing” seems to matter not at all to Mr. Durbin, and the same can be said for Delaware Democrat Senator Chris Coons, who did his part to spread the narrative by appearing on FoxNews Sunday with Chris Wallace, and, as FoxNews reporter Tyler Olson writes:
Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chris Coons said on Sunday that the Senate moving to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett ‘constitutes court-packing,’ and called the nominee's views ‘disqualifying.’
Thankfully, Olson had the integrity and brains to also write this:
Court packing's traditional definition is expanding the Supreme Court by law and then confirming justices to those seats, not what Republicans are doing, which is filling a naturally occurring vacancy. Sasse (Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb) shot back that Coons' definition of court-packing was ‘obviously’ incorrect and accused the Democrat of using ‘Orwellian’ language.
Which is absolutely correct, and indicates how little some of the backers of this Trump “court packing” fantasy regard other human beings. And Olson added:
’Claiming that court-packing is filling open vacancies that obviously isn't what court-packing means,’ Sasse said. He also called it ‘grotesque" that Joe Biden is refusing to answer the "really basic question" of whether or not he will support court-packing as president. Biden has been asked many times his stance on the issue and has refused to answer one way or another. Biden Friday was asked whether or not voters ‘deserve to know’ if he would pack the court, to which he responded, ‘[n]o they don't.’
Curiously, this “court packing” narrative isn’t a new one from the left. It’s just being tossed around a lot more because, despite wearing his mask a lot, Joe Biden can’t seem to stop putting his foot in his mouth. Back in 2018, hardcore leftist Nan Aron wrote an op-ed for Newsweek whining about Trump appointing what Aron thought were “conservative” judges, and, you got it, called it “court packing.”
The manifest fact that progressive collectivists are intellectual grifters who will use any vector, travel any avenue, warp the meaning of any term, to gain political strength has been the case since the days when Thomas Hobbes spread the fallacious notion that a bunch of political thugs telling you what to do was somehow a “social contract”, even though it’s just force.
No doubt the tradition will continue, and the wizards will keep telling us their fantasy world it real.