Signs of Dem desperation as legislators bypass Biden's commission and plan to introduce court-packing legislation today

Why have a group of congressional Democrats symbolically flipped the bird to "the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States" that President Biden created by executive order only six days ago?   Andrea Widburg has an excellent blog on these pages today on the announcement and its place in the broader plan of the Dems to alter the institutional framework of governance so as to ensure permanent Democrat majorities.

That group of purported "experts" appointed by Biden's executive order was stacked to likely yield a result congenial to expanding the Court so as to hand a rubber-stamp majority to the Dems, as Bloomberg reported:

The commission skews left, with progressives holding a 3:1 ratio to conservatives, according the Ilya Shapiro, of the libertarian Cato Institute think tank. (snip)

The panel also leans heavily on professors, with just a handful of members whose experience isn't primarily in legal or political academics. Moreover, approximately 80% are graduates or otherwise affiliated with just two schools — Harvard and Yale.

Supreme Court Building photo by Todd Martin CC BY-NC 2.0 license.


Mitch McConnell, who for all his faults masterminded confirmation of the court's current majority, saw the commission as a threat:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into President Biden's new commission studying potential changes to the Supreme Court on Friday. 

McConnell released a statement calling Biden's commission, which will study topics including whether to add more seats to the nation's highest court, a "direct assault on our nation's independent judiciary."

McConnell also reminded Biden of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's position on expanding the court beyond nine justices.

"Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," Ginsburg said in a July 2019 interview. "I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."

"Rational observers know well there is nothing about the structure or operation of the judicial branch that requires 'study,'" McConnell said Friday.

"Constitutional scholars and the justices themselves have repeatedly affirmed the position of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'nine seems to be a good number.'"

With a plan in place to provide a rationale from "outside experts" for packing the Court, why jump the gun?

Adding to the peculiarity was Rep. Jerry Nadler playing coy about it yesterday after a piece in The Intercept broke the news of the plan.  Newsweek reported:

Rep. Jerry Nadler refused to confirm or deny whether Democrats were planning to expand the Supreme Court, when asked by Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday.

Jordan, a Republican representing Ohio's 4th congressional district, cited an article from The Intercept during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Nadler. (snip)

Nadler, a Democrat who represents New York's 10th congressional district, refused to answer Jordan's question, while another member of the committee said the Republican's query was out of order.

"That is not the subject of the markup," Nadler said.

A markup is the term used in Congress for the process of debating, amending or rewriting legislation in a committee.

"Expanding the Supreme Court, the report that the chairman is…" Jordan said. Nadler cut in, however, saying again: "That is not the subject."

Jordan pressed on, expressing incredulity that legislation to expand the court being sponsored by the committee's chairman "is not something to be talked about on the House Judiciary Committee."

So what's up?  Why not wait 180 days for the fig leaf presidential commission to bolster the flimsy case?

I can think of two possible reasons, which are not mutually exclusive.

One is the incredible narrowness of the Democrats' control of Congress.  The Senate is tied 50-50, so only Kamala Harris's tiebreaker vote as V.P. gives the Dems the ability to pass legislation — if the filibuster is not invoked or if it is repealed.  In the 435-member House, Nancy Pelosi can only lose two Democrat votes if she wants to pass legislation, so narrow is her majority.

The prospects of holding on to the support of all Democrat senators and House members 180 days from now (i.e., half a year closer to the 2022 election) are not good, considering the escalating crisis on the border, which is a matter of grave and ongoing concern across the country.  Add in the possibility of a military crisis overseas as Russia masses troops near Ukraine and China makes escalating threats against Taiwan and expansionist moves in the South China Sea.

So it might be that the Democrats jumping the gun see this particular moment as possibly their last chance to remove the Supreme Court as a check on their ability to govern tyrannically.

The second possibility relates to an already established pattern of Democrat legislative legerdemain: abuse of the budget reconciliation process to bypass the filibuster, which Senators Manchin and Sinema both swear they will protect.  Check out this tweet from Rep. Mondaire Jones, one of the Dems planning to introduce the court-packing legislation today:

If the Democrats try to add court-packing to the infrastructure bill, which they are openly contemplating ramming through the Senate using budget reconciliation, it just might pass.  A huge spending bill offers huge opportunities for bribes incentives to individual senators and reps, people like Manchin and Sinema, whose constituents would like to see multi-billion dollars in federal funds flowing their way thanks to the "infrastructure" bill.

All in all, the Democrats seem desperate, as if they see their last chance to hold onto power possibly slipping from their grasp unless they change what amounts to the rules of the game right away, while they still have the narrowest possible majority and a senescent president still holding onto office.

Daniel McCarthy and Kurt Schlichter offer views of the crisis they see looming for the Democrats.  Were it not for the fully propagandistic role of the major media supporting them, the public would already have turned against them with fury for the incompetence of Biden's first three months in office and the unleashing of racialist mobs.  With public approval of the media roughly at the level of used car salesmen, that media cofferdam will not hold against the public through November 2022.  It is now or never, I believe a growing number of Democrats believe.

They are going for broke.  It's our job to make sure they fail and do go broke, politically.

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