Perhaps in a fit of pique over the refusal of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court to endorse the sort of court-packing scheme favored by the left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday declared that the current roster of nine jurists has “lost the respect of the American people” and that the only route toward rebuilding that trust is “to bring in more justices.”
Speaking on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, Warren began her spurious case by arguing, “The problem we’ve got is first, the Mitch McConnell hijacked this court. He stole the Supreme Court seat so that President Obama didn’t get to name someone,” a reference to the then-Senate Majority Leader’s 2016 decision not to permit a vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland to succeed the late Antonin Scalia.
“We got a court that over time is taking out the basic notion of the rule of law. The idea that we decide something and pretty much stick with that. It takes a long time before we make changes. But not for this court.” Warren said, adding, “This court is there to undercut long-established rules that protect unions, to take away people’s right to their day in court, to take away voting rights.”
Warren’s expression of frustration came on the heels of the aforementioned presidential commission’s unanimous vote to approve a final report on a series of topics related to the future of the high court, with the concept of expansion of the panel beyond its current nine members among them, as Fox News noted.
As part of its 288-page report, the commission said with regard to court-packing, “No 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.”
The report added, “The commission takes no position on the validity or strength of these claims. Mirroring the broader public debate, there is profound disagreement among commissioners on these issues,” a conclusion that certainly disappointed progressive court-packing advocates who perhaps held out some hope that the group would voice support for the notion.
Commission member Adam White, however, has since declared his own opposition to the idea, saying, “To pack the court would impair the court, not improve it: destabilizing it, further politicizing it, and complicating its basic work of hearing and deciding cases under the rule of law,” adding, “And one needs a willing suspension of disbelief not to see that court-packing would inaugurate an era of re-packing, destroying the court’s function and character as a court of law.”
Frustrated, perhaps, but undeterred, Warren now plans to serve as a co-sponsor of the Judiciary Act of 2021, a bill introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (R-MA) that would officially transform the high court into a body comprised of 13 members rather than nine.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is certainly correct when he warns that Democrat court-packing proposals, if successful, would turn the Supreme Court into something akin to a “super-legislature” susceptible to manipulation by a “transient majority” in Congress, but sadly, that is precisely what folks like Warren hope it will someday become.