Democrats aren’t really going to pack the Supreme Court with more justices — with more left-leaning justices who will overcome the conservative resistance to rubber-stamp all of the left’s left-leaning causes and cases.
They’re talking it up because of the message it sends.
They’re floating the court-packing idea as far and wide as possible in order to send a message to the constitutionally minded justices to watch it, watch how you rule, watch how you vote.
Watch it, or we’ll really add another four justices who will rule and vote nothing but Democrat-slash-socialist.
“Pelosi dismisses progressive ‘court packing’ legislation,” Politico wrote, about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reaction to all the push to pack.
“Pelosi rejects fellow Democrats’ ‘court-packing’ bill, will not bring it to vote,” the New York Post wrote.
“Democratic leaders throw cold water on proposal to expand Supreme Court,” The Washington Post wrote.
“Democrats’ Court-Packing Plan Dead on Arrival as Nancy Pelosi Won’t Consider It,” Newsweek wrote.
Yes. Because pragmatically speaking, throwing more judges on the highest court in the land would backfire on Democrats. What’s goes around, comes around. Soon enough, Republicans would simply add their own.
But that doesn’t stop Democrats from keeping the idea alive and well.
It doesn’t prevent the loudest voices in the Democrat Party from peddling the notion as far and wide as possible — from pushing, pushing, pushing Pelosi and leadership to reconsider and put it on the table.
And that’s the political strategy here.
Pelosi can afford to say no because everybody in politics knows that a “no” very often means a “maybe,” which soon enough turns into an “OK.” And because the leftists won’t stop crying for more “justice” on the courts — that is, more justices who rule in their favor — and because the media won’t stop covering the all-courts-press from the left to pack the courts, the story never really dies. The question always lingers: Will Pelosi change her mind? The threat always hangs in the air.
The Supreme Court’s more conservative-minded are always, somewhere in the back of their minds, somewhere in the subconscious even, wondering: Would she do it? Will my voice be nullified?
And maybe instead of voting this way on a particular case, they vote that way. Or maybe instead of opining that way on a particular matter, they opine this way.
That’s how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt won concessions from the court on a couple of his New Deal ideas that some historians say he otherwise wouldn’t have won — by pushing to pack the court. By calling for the addition of one justice for each one already on the court who was over the age of 70, up to an additional six justices. Congress struck down FDR’s agenda, but in the meanwhile, while it was being bandied about the legislative halls, the Supreme Court gave the thumbs-up to a couple of progressive regulations it had previously called unconstitutional.
FDR lost on court-packing. But he won on his agenda — which was the real goal in the first place.
“Pelosi has ‘no plans’ to bring bill expanding Supreme Court to House floor,” CBS News wrote.
Right. Not now. Maybe not ever.
But it’s the unknowing that’s the threat.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.
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