Let’s unpack the U.S. Supreme Court

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, one of the last truth-telling moderate Democrats, analyzed some of his colleagues’ hankering to pack the U.S. Supreme Court on Bill Hemmer’s show on (gasp) Fox News Channel. Why the gasp? Well, admitting I watch Fox, and that Rendell would appear there.

Let’s face it — we don’t need nine

Rendell is smart enough to know you don’t attract new followers by never leaving your own church, and I am smart enough to know you rarely get the complete story from any one source.

Rendell was asked how he felt about “packing” the court, which is the negative way of expressing it. The PC version is “expanding” the court. 

Rendell said he opposed it, but added that those who wanted to go there felt there had to be some penalty for the Republicans’ utter hypocrisy. They are ramming through Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination during an election after they refused to consider Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, because it was “too close” to an election (which was 10 months away). But Garland was President Barack Obama’s pick and Barrett is President Donald J. Trump’s. So it is pure politics, not principle, and no amount of spinning from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can change that.

The most serious attempt to “expand” the Supreme Court was made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom I greatly admire.

I called FDR the man who remade America, but he felt the conservative court was putting the brakes on what he wanted to do. Lots of presidents feel that way, but he acted — and failed. The vast majority of Americans still oppose packing, even though the Constitution does not set a number of justices to sit on the high court.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has opposed it in the past, but won’t say where he stands now, probably because he knows packing is unpopular. But he may be forced, by the Loony Left in his party, to support the attempt if he wins and if the Dems take back the Senate on his coattails.

If they control Congress and the White House, they will be strongly tempted to read the playbook that teaches them to overplay their hand. Yes! Make D.C. a state, even if that violates the Constitution, but first appoint four progressive judges to the Supreme Court, giving liberals a 7-6 majority that will rubber stamp their darkest wishes.

Republicans are terrified — and I am, too.

But here’s the thing: Nothing is permanent, and after making Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secretary of defense and Maxine Waters secretary of state, the tables will turn. Republicans someday will take control and appoint two more justices to regain a majority and retain an odd number to avoid tie votes.

This process, repeated, can eventually result in a court larger than congress.

Where would they convene — in the stadium of the, um, Washington football club?

I have an alternative suggestion.

Unpack the court. Let’s get down to three justices.

But could three adequately represent the diversity of this vast land? 

Not easily, but with tongue in cheek I suggest it can be done with candidates who check more than one box. Here’s how the trio might break down: 

1 man, 1 woman, 1 transgender.

1 cisgender, 1 gay, 1 questioning.

1 Christian, 1 Jew, 1 Muslim.

1 White, 1 Black, 1 triracial.

1 abled, 1 disabled, 1 other abled.

1 obeise, 1 lean, 1 emaciated.

1 tall, 1 regular, 1 little person.

1 Ivy League, 1 land grant college, 1 hard knocks.

1 carnivore, 1 piscatore, 1 vegan.

Email your candidates to me. I will keep them on file.

16 thoughts on “Let’s unpack the U.S. Supreme Court”

  1. Got a good laugh with the diversity 3 justice court. Can’t go with any gender though, it’s too mutable.
    But yeah, expanding the court is not a simply a slippery slope, it is a one-way trip. How could it ever be reversed? Attrition? Change the appointment to a limited term? Very frightening.
    I guess Rendell might have preferred to see the opposition party Senate in the Garland nomination, consider, “advise and consent” on the nominee, and just say… No. I agree. How is not considering a nominee hypocritical? It certainly is more civil behavior than the harm done to the process by Democrats with the Brett Kavanaugh low-tech lynching (and I mean very low).
    Scalia gets overwhelming approval. Ginsburg gets overwhelming approval. Polar opposites. Bork and Thomas? Which party took the low road? What happened to the Senate? We don’t need to change the court, we need to change the Senate. Term limits in both houses.

  2. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Packing the Supreme Court is a bad idea, even if done for the best of motives; and I’m not sure that “punishing hypocrisy” is among the best of motives. The established traditions of 9 justices and of Presidents making their own judgments, with the “advice and consent” of the Senate are important to the perception of fairness.

    BTW: Isn’t Governor Rendell our paradigm Clinton Democrat?

    H.G. Callaway
    —you wrote—
    Rendell said he opposed it, but added that those who wanted to go there felt there had to be some penalty for the Republicans’ utter hypocrisy.

      1. HAPPY THURSDAY !!!
        Stu,
        Gordon apparently never heard of the endearing name, “blanketass”. Actually, most people never heard of that word. So, for all of those that want to be in the know. The rest of you need not read any further.
        Back in the 1950s and early ’60s, when you watched a T.V. western on your tiny box, you would often see a group of indians sitting around a fire. Usually, there was a Teepee or two in the background. Inevitably, there would be a “paleface” at the fire also. Since radio wasn’t invented back then, the only music was that from a drum. ( you “palefaces” call them tom-toms.) Now, with further observation, you would notice the main chacter in this reply. The famous BLANKET ! Hence, the endearing term, “BLANKET ASS” given to us in construction, by a “Chocker”. ( that’s another reply ).
        BTW: the scenery in those old cowboy and Indian shows were backdrops !
        stay well, my pale face friends,
        Tony

  3. It would be foolish to think that the Democrats would not do as the Republicans and select a Justice if they faced the same circumstances. Watching the Judicial committee today send the recommendation to the full Senate, while the democrats boycotted the proceedings was disgusting behavior on the part of the democrats. I’ve always thought that the founding fathers made a mistake by not mandating a rule that the congress be prohibited from serving more than two terms of office. This would curb corruption and having a bunch of old codgers from obtaining destructive power. I happen to be an independent voter, and we desperatly need a viable third party in America.

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