Liberal GWU Law Professor Calls Dems' Move To Pack SCOTUS a 'Hostile Takeover'

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 19, 2021
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As President Joe Biden, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), other leftist allies in Congress and in the pop media push the idea of expanding the U.S. Supreme Court by four seats to 13 members, allowing Biden to appoint all the new Justices and create an instant 7-6 left-collectivist majority, one liberal is standing out as a strong voice of opposition.

He’s well-known George Washington University Law professor Jonathan Turley, and April 15 on his blog, Turley not only expressed his opposition to the idea of packing the high court, he elucidated his position with clear logic, called it what it is – COURT-PACKING -- and likened the move to a “hostile takeover.”

Opened Turley:

We recently discussed the controversial commission created by President Joe Biden to discuss calls to pack the Supreme Court as well as a number of truly looney ideas for circumventing or reducing the authority of the Court’s conservative majority. Some members however decided not to wait even for a commission that is itself packed with liberal members.  House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, D-NY, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, and others will be announcing their plan to immediately add four new justices to the Court. The number is calculated purely to give liberals a 7-6 majority on the Court. It is about a subtle as a B-52 run.

Indeed, given how Biden and many of his leftist allies in D.C. and the dinosaur media called it "court-packing" when Donald Trump simply fulfilled his constitutional duty as president to nominate a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and their threats in the fall of 2020 to return someday to manipulate the court in their collectivist favor, Turley’s observation that this is unsubtle is spot-on.

About Nadler’s proposal, he adds:

The bill today strips away any pretense of principle. It is pure unadulterated court packing. It is the very proposal denounced by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she died.

Isn’t it great to know that your inherent rights can be legislated away under the pretense of “reversing” a “Trump court-packing” that never happened and was simply the president nominating someone, as he was supposed to according to the Constitution?

Sure seems like it’s not the Constitution about which the D.C. and media left really care.

Related: Biden, Capitol Dems Summon Dark Spectre of Supreme Court Packing With a New Bill

In fact, it almost seems as if they’ll use any loophole they can to gain political power.

Turley goes on to note that left-leaning Justice Stephen Breyer warned people about this Nadler-Markey-Biden concept of expanding the court, and guess what? He was attacked by “journalists” and other lefties.

…(T)his week, Breyer warned against any move to expand the Supreme Court. He also rejected the characterization of the current Court as “conservative” or ideologically rigid. Breyer was swiftly denounced by figures like cable news host Mehdi Hasan who called him ‘naïve’ and called for his retirement. Demand Justice, a liberal group calling for court packing, had a billboard truck in Washington the next day in the streets of Washington warning “Breyer, retire. Don’t risk your legacy.” (Demand Justice once employed White House press secretary Jen Psaki as a communications consultant, and Psaki was on the advisory board of one of its voting projects.)

And Turley reminds readers that he once suggested the expansion of the court. But he distinguishes his old position from what Biden, Nadler, Markey, Hasan, and other lefties are pushing today.

Over 20 years ago, I recommended the expansion of the Court to 17 or 19 members. However, that recommendation would occur over many years and would not give advocates the short-term majority that they are seeking. That is the difference between reforming and packing the Court.

Whatever one’s position on the final size of the Court, Turley makes sense decrying the speed with which the current DC power-wielders want to plant Justices on a possibly expanded bench. And he adds even more pointed words:

The chances of succeeding in this ignoble goal are low. However, the real question is how many Democratic senators and House members will step forward today to denounce such raw court packing. These politicians often decry what they view as attacks on the rule of law.  Well, this is not just an attack but a virtual declaration of war on the rule of law.  If Democrats just add members to give them a controlling majority, the Supreme Court will have little authority or integrity. It will become the manufactured majority of a party with a razor thin control of Congress of two seats in the House and a 50-50 split in the Senate.

Well said.

This is a bald-faced attempt to make the U.S. Constitution mean whatever the left wants it to mean.

Many years ago, numerous Anti-Federalists warned about the danger of people “reading into” the so-called “rules” whatever power they desired. It’s been happening since the Constitution was ratified, dissolving rights and federalism at the same time it’s built-up central authoritarianism.

It’s gratifying to see at least one well-known leftist stand up against the insulting, in-our-faces move Biden and his House and Senate cabal are eager to make.

Because that move is their ticket to make even more moves against our inherent liberty.