The left is resorting to Orwellian language to defend court-packing
On Saturday, Joe Biden said voters do not deserve to know whether he intends to pack the Supreme Court, a step that will create a permanent Democrat majority to act as a rubber stamp on all Democrat laws, regulations, and police actions, no matter how extreme. On Sunday, the Associated Press, aided by Montana's governor, stated in Orwellian fashion that packing the court is "de-politicizing," rather than politicizing it. There are no words for how foul and dangerous this is.
For over two centuries, the rules in America regarding the Supreme Court have been simple: when there is a vacancy on the Court, the sitting president and Senate work together to place a new justice on the Court.
This used to be a routine process: was the candidate intelligent, even brilliant? Was he experienced in federal law? Was he respected, even revered? Did he understand his responsibilities as a judge? If the answers to these questions were "yes," that was pretty much that. Justices might lean a little more left or right, but the fights were limited.
Things changed in 1987, when President Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Under the old metric, Bork was a superbly qualified candidate. Under the new metric created by Sen. Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy and Sen. Joe "Gee, your hair smells terrific" Biden, what mattered was that the candidate had the correct political views.
Mostly, this meant that the candidate would support, and advance, the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. (I should add that sexual predators really like Roe v. Wade because it gets rid of the evidence.) That was when the Supreme Court became politicized.
In the intervening years, the two parties have see-sawed back and forth. Democrat presidents have appointed jurists who believe that their job is to reach political conclusions consistent with Democrat ideology, and then to retrofit the Constitution and existing laws to fit those conclusions. Reagan and Trump appointed jurists who believe that their job is only to decide whether government actions (laws, regulations, police actions, etc.) comport with the Constitution. They believe that the responsibility for rewriting the laws or amending the Constitution rests solely with the people and their elected representatives. Both Bushes, meanwhile, elected squishes.
Through it all, there's been one constant: since 1869, there have been nine justices. The uneven number prevents deadlocks; a smaller number might decrease useful intellectual diversity, and a larger number would be unwieldy. When FDR, unhappy after the Supreme Court struck down his unconstitutional New Deal legislation, threatened to expand, or "pack," the Court with justices more favorable to his policies, the public strongly objected.
Now, though, court-packing is all the rage for Democrats. They are livid that, under longstanding rules, Trump can get Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a constitutionalist, on the Court. Then, even if Biden and the Democrats win in November, the Court will have a strict constructionist majority that will block their more outrageous schemes. Therefore, Democrats want to pass legislation changing the rules so they never have to lose again. This is the ultimate in politicizing the Court, and it spells the end of the American experiment.
Biden and Harris have refused to say whether they're going to pack the Court, which means that, yes, they are. To help them along, Montana governor Steve Bullock (D) offered an Orwellian redefinition of court-packing:
"We need to figure out the ways to actually get the politics out of the court. That's anything from a judicial standards commission, or we'll look at any other thing that might be suggested, including adding justices," he said.
The Associated Press promptly embraced the new formulation, restating Bullock's language as a fact, rather than an opinion:
With lightning speed, the Associated Press adopts Democrats' language on SCOTUS: adding members is now "depoliticizing" the court, only "critics" refer to it as "packing." pic.twitter.com/IBujBwmWE2— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) October 11, 2020
Adding Justices to the US Supreme Court would be the most political, radical, partisan power grab possible for the Judiciary. That move is the polar opposite of “depoliticizing”.— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) October 11, 2020
I’ve got very bad news for those pushing this new “depoliticizing” spin => Americans aren’t idiots! https://t.co/B6P1HOkCGd
Zeldin's tweet is correct. Court-packing is the first thing tyrants do. For example, in 2004, when Hugo Chávez was beginning his dictatorial socialist climb, he packed Venezuela's Supreme Court with 12 new justices. In just 16 years, Venezuela, once one of Latin America's richest countries, is now a broken-down tyranny.
Democrats have been politicizing the Supreme Court for decades, but they always stayed within traditional parameters. What they're suggesting now will take us down a dangerous path from which there is no return — and the fact that they're prevaricating and engaging in Orwellian language games means they know exactly what they're doing.