The Supreme Court is the one institution in Washington Democrats do not control.
Liberals have a plan to change that.
But the Supreme Court forced Joe Biden to confront one defeat that infuriated Democrats.
From 2018 to 2020, conservatives came out on the losing end of most of the major cases as Chief Justice John Roberts shifted far to the left and would vote with the Court’s four other liberals to strike down key Trump administration initiatives like rescinding Barack Obama’s DACA amnesty program and adding a question about citizenship to the census.
Roberts voted to give transgenders special rights and to strike down pro-life legislation.
But now that Amy Coney Barrett is on the Supreme Court,conservatives have five votes without Chief Justice Roberts, and they have grown bolder in taking cases that would advance a conservative worldview.
Next term, the Court will hear its first major Second Amendment case since the landmark 2008 Heller decision and an appeal of a lower court decision striking down Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks.
The reality that conservatives have the votes to win the most significant challenge to Roe v. Wade in a generation dawned on left-wing activists.
And that’s reviving calls on the left to pack the Supreme Court to manufacture a permanent liberal majority by supporting legislation introduced by Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey.
“The more the court forces the issue, the more that Democrats will understand that they can’t wait,” chief counsel of Demand Justice Christopher Kang told the Washington Post. “They can’t wait in particular for a commission that is not even going to make recommendations. I think all of the facts that the Democrats need to know are already out there.”
“Congressional Democrats cannot wait and hope that the supermajority of conservatives on the bench do the right thing in this case or any of the other critical cases pending in front of them. They will not,” director of democracy policy Meagan Hatcher-Mays of the left-wing group Indivisible also told the Post. “So Democrats must act. They must expand the court before millions of women and those who need reproductive health-care services become collateral damage.”
But Democrats that want to pack the Court keep running into one stubborn reality.
A number of Senate Democrats oppose the deeply unpopular court-packing bill.
“I don’t think so,” Maine Democrat Angus King told National Review. “My question is: Where does it stop?”
“I’m not convinced that that’s the right answer,” Virginia Senator—and Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 running mate—Tim Kaine told the Washington Post, “I don’t think you tackle an issue this momentous — especially Congress tinkering with the Article III branch — without carefully looking at it.”
Democrats would need all 50 senators to unite to allow Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote nuking the filibuster to pass the court-packing legislation with just 51 votes.
Right now, Democrats do not have 50 votes to eliminate the filibuster, let alone pass the court-packing scheme.
And rank-and-file Democrats may learn that lesson the hard way after they potentially lose several high-profile cases next term and fail to advance court-packing legislation as an act of political revenge.
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