The Supreme Court commission established by President Joe Biden last spring to study the proposal to pack the high court unanimously approved a final report on Tuesday.
Measuring 288 pages, the report offers “no position” on the matter. Instead it mirrors the wider debate in society, with its “Executive Summary” noting that “there is profound disagreement among Commissioners on these issues.”
This was readily apparent as the commissioners “aired their differences about specific proposals for overhauling the court,” according to The Washington Post, during a conversation prior to Tuesday’s vote.
“I’m more convinced than ever that change is necessary. The court has been effectively packed by one party and will remain packed for years to come with serious consequences to democracy,” commissioner Nancy Gertner, a retired Clinton judge, reportedly said, echoing Democrat Party talking points to a T.
“I reject the premise of some that the current Supreme Court represents a threat to our democracy. We must not sacrifice the federal judiciary to partisan impulses,” commissioner Thomas B. Griffith, a retired Bush judge, reportedly opined in rebuttal , echoing the conservative perspective on court-packing.
Similarly, there is arguably “profound disagreement” among the public, though polling conducted after the commission’s launch last April did find that voters opposed court packing by a 2-to-1 margin, meaning those like Griffith comprise the majority in real life.
But that is not necessarily the impression one gets from the establishment press, which has focused on spotlighting the grievances of the Democrat Party’s far-left base.
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) December 7, 2021
“If President Biden wants to be taken seriously on this issue, he needs to put forward serious structural reforms,” Sarah Lipton-Lubet, the executive director of the far-left group Take Back the Court, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
“It’s been clear from the start that the commission wasn’t going to produce anything actionable. It’s equally clear that it simply cannot be the administration’s actual response to the crisis we’re facing.”
Speaking with Fox News, First Liberty Institute president, CEO and chief counsel Kelly Shackelford offered a take far more fitting with polling data.
“The American public reject court-packing and any other attempt to destabilize the judiciary. Even after numerous polls show Americans reject court-packing, far-Left progressives are clearly trying to expand their political power under the guise of ‘court-reform,'” she said.
“Expanding the membership of the United States Supreme Court is nothing more than a transparent, partisan scheme to achieve purely political objectives and exercise raw power that must be rejected.”
Republicans believe the goal of the far-left in pushing for court packing is to overturn the organic rulings that they disfavor.
They are telling you their plans.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 27, 2020
“Republicans contend that Democrats are threatening to overhaul the high court solely because they dislike its opinions, calling that a dangerous attack on judicial independence. They dismiss complaints that anything was wrong with the recent confirmations, saying that is sour grapes by Democrats because events have not gone their way,” according to the Post.
Incidentally, although the report takes no position on court packing, it does state quite plainly that “[n]o serious person, in either major political party, suggests court packing as a means of overturning disliked Supreme Court decisions, whether the decision in question is Roe v. Wade or Citizens United.”
“Scholars could say, until very recently, that even as compared to other court reform efforts, ‘court-packing’ is especially out of bounds. This is part of the convention of judicial independence.”
The report continues by listing the pros and cons of every proposed Supreme Court modification:
This predictably angered the far-left, which has a habit of trying to silence information that belies its preferred narratives.
“The American people deserve better than this long-awaited yet deeply unhelpful pros and cons list,” Meagan-Hatcher Mays of the far-left group Indivisible complained to the Associated Press.
“The court has slipped irretrievably into partisanship, and there is only one solution to that problem: Congress must add additional justices to the bench to restore faith in the institution,” she added.
Like other members of the left, she’s angry that the conservative-leaning court — which was made conservative through the natural process of elected presidents appointing replacements as former justices died or resigned — is currently reviewing cases that could potentially lead to the organic overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“The abortion argument increased the appetite among Senate Democrats for major changes to the court, said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat. He says he expects a decision overturning Roe would prompt lawmakers to act,” according to Bloomberg.
“It would be the straw that broke the camel’s back after an enormous cascade of other terrible political decisions by the court,” Whitehouse reportedly said.
However, Mike Davis, the president of the conservative Article III Project, warned of the reverse backlash.
“People understand that the Supreme Court is the last line of defense, protecting us from politicians taking away our rights to speak, associate, worship and protect ourselves. If the Democrats attempt to destroy that through court packing, I think it would lead to a tremendous backlash from the American people,” he said.
View the full report below:
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