Biden Administration Condemns Court-Packing Abroad While Entertaining It Themselves
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding court-packing:
“Earlier this week, during a trip to South America, Secretary of State Blinken said that, ‘undermining the independence of the courts,’ and ‘packing courts’ were among ‘the ways that democracies can come undone.’
“His warning was apparently directed to neighbors in our hemisphere. But ironically, his own fellow Democrats here in Washington D.C. apparently need the same lecture.
“Last week, President Biden’s much-ballyhooed commission tasked with studying potential changes to the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court issued its first findings. And in some corners of the radical left, there was predictable disappointment that it had not more explicitly fed the flames.
“But let’s be clear: the mere creation of this commission was itself a clumsy act of political thuggery against judicial independence.
“And what it did seem to support – slapping term limits on Supreme Court justices – is no less of a radical affront to the principles on which the Court was established.
“Madam President, curtailing the tenure of our nation’s seniormost judges is such an obvious threat to judicial independence, it’s literally been warned about since our nation’s founding.
“Alexander Hamilton didn’t mince words in Federalist 78. He warned that the judiciary is, ‘in continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed, or influenced by its co-ordinate branches; and that as nothing can contribute so much to its firmness and independence as permanency in office, this quality may therefore be justly regarded as an indispensable ingredient in its constitution.’
“An indispensable ingredient, Madam President. Alexander Hamilton on life tenure for judges.
“Our founders insisted on it because they knew that the branches of government with the powers to write and execute laws would be tempted to undermine the branch that could exercise nothing but its judgment.
“And to an alarming degree in recent years, we’ve seen Democrats in both the executive and the legislature succumb to exactly this temptation.
“From the brazen amicus brief from a group of our Senate colleagues warning the Court to ‘heal itself’ lest it be ‘restructured’…
“To the bizarre verbal threats issued by the Democratic Leader on the steps of the Court, naming Justices who would ‘pay the price’ for failing to rule the way he wanted…
“To the pseudo-academic commission the President created to consider re-animating the ugly cadaver of court-packing that his party last tried 80 years ago.
“Madam President, these are nonsense responses to a non-existent problem.
“The real problem is the shameful depths to which Democrats are apparently willing to stoop in pursuit of brute power. As I’ve said before, sensible people of all political stripes have an obligation to condemn this behavior.
“But the most embarrassing condemnation of these tired tactics?
“Our founders saw it all coming, centuries in advance.”
Related Issues: Supreme Court, Senate Democrats