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.
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.