As the Eyes SCOTUS Panel, we must preserve the independence of the Court


As the Supreme Court begins its 2021-2022 term this week with several high-profile cases on the agenda, Americans should be aware of the machinations of the Presidential Commission of the Supreme Court of the United States. President Biden created the commission, made up mostly of law professors, in April to consider demands for “reform” from the left, such as increasing the number of judges – better known as packing the courts. Demands from the left to expand the tribunal erupted last year when President Trump exercised his constitutional prerogative to fill a vacant post.

The current number of judges, set by Congress, has not changed since 1869. The last time court packing was a problem was in 1937, when President Franklin Roosevelt – upset by the rulings of the court against the priorities of his administration – proposed to add up to six seats.

When he was a senator, Joe Biden proclaimed that the court had a “bonehead idea.” … It was a terrible, terrible mistake, and it called into question for an entire decade the independence of the most important body… the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Wrapping the court in support of Biden’s agenda is no less “stubborn” than it was in Roosevelt’s time.

Supporters of court consolidation speculate that adding more seats, and thus allowing Biden to appoint four new judges at a time, would shift the ideological balance to the left and reverse the way the court adjudicates a given case. History shows, however, that a judge’s vote on a particular case does not necessarily reflect the ideology of the president who appointed him. President Eisenhower named Earl Warren and William Brennan, two of the most militant judges in history. He later reportedly viewed their appointments as his two worst mistakes as president. President Nixon named Harry Blackmun the author of Roe vs. Wade, which created a constitutional right to abortion. David Souter, appointed by President George HW Bush, became a reliable member of the liberal wing of the court and voted to reaffirm Roe deer.

But suppose the new justices President Biden appoints and the Senate confirms are reliably and liberal, voting consistently with the three liberals currently on the pitch. What happens when executive and legislative control shifts from Democrat to Republican? Republicans would be hard pressed not to expand the court again, adding judges to push rulings in a conservative direction. These seismic changes would destroy Americans’ confidence in the ability of the judiciary to protect basic rights from intrusion by political branches of government. The Supreme Court would become just another branch of politics.

Wrapping up the court and other left-wing “fixes” to the court, such as imposing fixed terms of office for judges or guaranteeing each president one or two candidates regardless of vacancies, would blow up the ranks. very foundation of our single government system: separation of powers, checks and balances, and three co-equal branches. The independence of the US judiciary is essential to maintaining the role of the judiciary as a co-equal branch.

And this independence is a shining example to the world. As noted above, there are many momentous decisions where Supreme Court justices have ruled against the political interests of the president who appointed them. Threatening this independence for whatever reason – but mostly because of the political leanings of duly appointed and confirmed judges – are the actions of small dictators in less developed countries. Do leftists really want our country to follow the example of Venezuela and Argentina?

Americans see the Supreme Court as the ultimate protector of the freedoms guaranteed to them by our Constitution. They rely on the court to curb the excesses of legislative and executive power. As Judge Stephen Breyer put it, “if the public regards judges as ‘politicians in their robes’, their confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the power of the court, including its power to act as a judge. “Check” on the other branches. ”

The late judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who never mince words, echoed the sentiment, saying: increase the number of judges, so that we have more people who vote as we wish.

This is exactly what the ploys seriously considered in the SCOTUS presidential committee will do: undermine Americans’ confidence in the rule of law and make the tribunal a partisan body. And from there, it’s not a big leap to Venezuela or Argentina.

Beverly McKittrick is the director of the Regulatory Action Center (RAC) at FreedomWorks. Most recently, she served in the Trump administration at the Department of Labor, Office of the Secretary.

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