Democrats Breathe New Life Into The Ugly Cadaver Of Court Packing

As A Group Of Hard Left Democrats Stood On The Steps Of The Supreme Court To Introduce Legislation To Pack It And Thereby ‘Destroy Its Legitimacy [In Order To] Guarantee The Rulings Liberals Want,’ It Was Clear That The Recent Words And Actions Of Democrats Who Weren’t There Encouraged This Radical Power Grab


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Time and time again, prominent Democrats show they’re no longer content to work within the ground rules and norms of our institutions, but prefer to threaten the institutions themselves. We’ve seen it in presidential elections, where Democrats say our democracy is sacrosanct when they win, but illegitimate and broken if Republicans win. We’ve seen it with the Senate’s rules. Democrats just spent four years praising and using the legislative filibuster. But now that they hold the majority, they say it’s actually been intrinsically evil all along and must be scrapped. We’re seeing it right now with voting regulations, where the mere fact that sometimes Republicans win elections has Democrats wanting to rewrite all 50 states’ election laws here in Washington and turn the F.E.C. into a partisan body. And then there is the judiciary. In recent years, we’ve seen the Democratic Leader stand on the steps of the Court and threaten that specific justices, quote, ‘won’t know what hit them’ if they didn’t rule the way he wanted. We’ve seen a number of Democratic Senators send a threatening brief suggesting the Court might need to be ‘restructured’ if its rulings upset liberals. Last week, President Biden, who was marketed to the country as a moderate and an institutionalist, jumped in with both feet. He set up a pseudo-academic ‘commission’ to ‘study’ the merits of packing the Supreme Court. Just an attempt to clothe this transparent power play in fake legitimacy. But alas, the far left cannot even wait for the fake theatrics of the fake study to play out. Today, Democrats in the Senate and House have announced they will once again threaten judicial independence from the steps of the Court. They’re introducing a bill to add 4 new seats to the Supreme Court so that Democrats can pack the Court, destroy its legitimacy, and guarantee the rulings liberals want.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/15/2021)

  • LEADER McCONNELL: “It’s not just about whether this insane bill becomes law. Part of the point here are the threats themselves. The left wants a sword dangling over the Justices when they weigh the facts in every case. As the Democratic Leader threatened just two years ago, Democrats want the Justices to know that they will ‘pay the price’ for rulings that Democrats don’t like. The left wants these swords dangling over the Senate, and state legislatures, and independent judges. The threats are the point. The hostage-taking is the point.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/15/2021)

The Democrats Introducing This Power Grab Weren’t Even Shy About Describing Its Purely Partisan Nature

“A group of House and Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 members to 13, trying to spur momentum for the first change in the makeup of the court in 150 years.” (The New York Times, 4/15/2021)

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “We are here today because the United States Supreme Court is broken. It is out of balance, and it needs to be fixed… And we do it by adding four seats to Court to create a thirteen member Supreme Court. These four new seats, to be filled by President Biden, will reconstitute the United States Supreme Court.” (Sen. Markey, Press Conference, 4/15/2021)

One Even Proclaimed Court Packing To Be ‘Infrastructure,’ Joining Other Democrats In Their Absurd Pronouncements That Every Far-Left Idea Is ‘Infrastructure’

REP. MONDAIRE JONES (D-NY): “Supreme Court expansion is infrastructure.” (Rep. Jones, @MondaireJones, Twitter, 4/14/2021)


Senate Democrats Have Encouraged The Far-Left Push For Court Packing By Refusing To Disavow It And Through Repeated Statements Signaling Their Receptiveness To It

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “Last year in certain fringe quarters of the Democratic Party it seemed popular to call for packing the Supreme Court, for expanding the number of justices on the court… Now, obviously all Republicans oppose such a radical idea. … So I offer a simple amendment, an amendment that is backed by famous liberals… that we should not pack the Supreme Court. ... So I would invite my Democratic colleagues who have said they don’t want to pack the court to simply waive this point of order and let’s have an up-or-down vote on one of the most fundamental tenets of the rule of law: that you do not pack the courts because you don’t like the way they rule.” (Sen. Cotton, Floor Remarks, 2/05/2021)

All 50 Senate Democrats voted against Sen. Cotton’s amendment, leaving an avenue open for them to potentially pack the Supreme Court. (S.Amdt.66, S.Con.Res.5, Roll Call Vote #36: Motion Rejected 50-50: D 0-48; R 50-0; I 0-2, 2/05/2021)

Prominent Democrats Have Repeatedly Left The Door Open To Pack The Supreme Court: ‘I’m Absolutely Open To It,’ ‘This Is Long Overdue Court Reform As Far As I’m Concerned,’ ‘Everything Is On The Table’

THEN-SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “We are on the verge of a crisis of confidence in the Supreme Court… We have to take this challenge head on, and everything is on the table to do that.” (“2020 Dems Warm To Expanding Supreme Court,” Politico, 3/18/2020)

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “I think it's [expanding the Supreme Court] an idea that should be considered and I think the president is taking the right approach to have a commission to study such a thing. It's a big step. It's not out of the question. It has been done before in the history of our country a long time ago. And the growth of our country--the size of our country, the growth of our challenges and terms of the economy, etcetera might necessitate such a thing.(Speaker Pelosi, Press Conference, 4/15/2021)

REPORTER: “Senator, if Biden wins the election, should he add more Supreme Court justices?”
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “It will be a decision that is -- comes to the Senate. We first have to win the majority before that can happen. But once we win the majority, god willing, everything is on the table.”
REPORTER: “Senator, just to follow up on that, at this time, do you consider abolishing the filibuster.”
SCHUMER: “We first have to win the majority. If we don’t win the majority, these questions are all moot. If we win the majority, everything is on the table.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 9/20/2020)

  • SCHUMER: “All I’ve said is our first job is to get the majority back and everything is on the table. But it was – everything is on the table. We are going to look at how we can produce change. … Everything is on the table. My Senate Democratic colleagues and candidates know America needs some change and we’re going to figure out the best way to do it.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 9/22/2020)

“Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said she has been ‘talking with people who have different ideas about what we can do — including adding to the court, including having certain circuit court judges cycle in and other ideas’ like term limits. ‘I’m open to those kinds of suggestions,’ she said.” (“Democrats Warn GOP: Don’t Fill A Supreme Court Vacancy In 2020 Or We’ll Retaliate,” NBC News, 8/3/2020)

CNN’s JOHN BERMAN: “Joe Biden was asked last night repeatedly if he wins the election, would he favor adding more justices in the Supreme Court. He would not answer that question. Where do you stand on that?”
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): “This is long overdue court reform as far as I’m concerned and I have been thinking about court reform and what we can do regarding the Supreme Court to make it so much more objective. And so, this is not something that a lot of us have not thought about.”
BERMAN: “Joe Biden would not take a position on adding justices to the court last night. What do you feel like you need to here from him on that subject?”
HIRONO: “What I get from Joe Biden is, first and foremost, he has to get elected. Let’s keep our eye on the ball. … So, first and foremost, Joe Biden has to get elected. Kamala Harris has to get elected. Democrats need to get elected to the Senate. We need to take back the Senate so we can address some of the hypothetical things you’re taking about which I have been thinking about for years now.” (CNN, 9/22/2020)

  • HIRONO: “In the meantime we are going to explore every avenue to stop Mitch McConnell from stealing yet another Supreme Court seat.”
    MSNBC’s JOY REID:And does that include potentially making it clear that Democrats will vote on D.C. statehood and Puerto Rico statehood immediately upon taking power and taking control of the Senate? That expanding the Supreme Court as Neal Katyal and others have said would be a completely legitimate response, saying, okay, there will be 15 seats on the Supreme Court now. That’s going to happen if he goes for this and in getting rid of the filibuster in the next United States Senate?”
    HIRONO: “All of those matters will be on the agenda.” (MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” 9/19/2020)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “I’m taking nothing off the table.” (The Washington Post, Accessed 9/18/19)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “I’m open. … Actually, I mean, we could…. Look, there are a lot of different ways to do it. The number of people on the Supreme Court is not constitutionally constricted. But it’s one of the things that we certainly could talk about.” (The New York Times, Accessed 9/13/2019)

  • MSNBC’s RACHEL MADDOW: “What do you think is within the arsenal of Senate Democrats to try to stop this from happening? I know that Senate minority leader, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has said nothing is off the table if they force through this nomination, if they get it done. What options do you think that you have tactically in order to try to stop them from doing what they want to do?”
    WARREN: “Well, Chuck is right. As he said, everything should be on the table. And we will use everything we’ve got.” (MSNBC, 9/21/2020)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): “[I]f they act in such a way, they may push it [expanding the Supreme Court] to an inevitability. So they need to be careful about that.” (“Democrats Warn GOP: Don’t Fill A Supreme Court Vacancy In 2020 Or We’ll Retaliate,” NBC News, 8/3/2020)


FLASHBACK: Leader McConnell Has Been Warning For Over Two Years That Democrats Are Serious About Resuscitating The Idea Of Packing The Court, Which ‘Has Been Synonymous In American History With The Idea Of An Unprincipled Power Grab’

October 9, 2018: SEN. McCONNELL: “But the madness hasn’t stopped. They’re already signaling that even more drastic steps may be necessary, now that Justice Kavanaugh is on the court. Some left-wing publications are already trying to lay the groundwork for -- you guessed it -- literally packing the Court with more justices. That’s right: The far left has gone scrounging through the ash-heap of American history and they’re bandying about that discredited fantasy from the 1930s.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/09/2018)

March 28, 2019: SEN. McCONNELL: “If Democrats don’t like an outcome, then the rules themselves need to be tossed aside. This seems to be emerging as a kind of a pattern, on the other side of the aisle. When our Constitution, our institutions, or the American people disappoint our Democratic colleagues, instead of taking the hint and perhaps making their own positions more mainstream, they look instead to change the rules. After they failed to defeat the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh last year, liberal leaders decided the underlying structure of the American judiciary needed to be radically overhauled to suit their whims. They set out to rehabilitate the absurd notion of ‘court-packing,’ a term that since the 1930s has been synonymous in American history with the idea of an unprincipled power grab. The idea that Democrats sometimes lose presidential elections, and that Republican presidents sometimes subsequently appoint Supreme Court justices, is apparently no longer to be tolerated. Instead of filling existing vacancies, why shouldn’t the next Democrat president just make up a bunch of new ones, so the far left can stack the Court? Forget about nine justices. Forget about judges who don’t wear red robes, or blue robes, but wear black robes. Forget about interpreting and applying our laws and Constitution the way they are written, instead of how partisans might wish they were written. The far left wants to forget about all that, because Democrats would rather rewrite the rules. So out of the ash heap of history came this talk of ‘court-packing.’ A notion that would threaten the rule of law and our American judicial system as we have long understood it. A radical proposal that has been dead and buried by bipartisan consensus for almost a century.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/28/2019)

August 29, 2019: SEN. McCONNELL: “The Democrats’ threat to pack the Court if it doesn’t rule the way they want is synonymous in American history with the idea of an unprincipled power grab. Instead of improving their arguments, our colleagues seem determined to undermine our constitutional structure… Senate Republicans reject this dangerous and opportunistic assault on our independent judiciary and will continue to uphold our oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 8/29/2021)

September 3, 2019: SEN. McCONNELL: “[I]t’s noteworthy that the Democrats are now trying to intimidate the Supreme Court. I wonder if you saw the letter… signed by a number of them threatening the Supreme Court by claiming it is ‘not well,’ which is utter nonsense, and also threatening to pack the Court if the Democrat signers of the letter didn’t get a particular outcome in a case that they filed an amicus brief in. There is nothing wrong with filing an amicus brief, I’ve done that and never in one did it cross my mind that it was a good idea to threaten the court that if they didn’t decide the way I wanted to we’d expand the number. All 53 of my members, every single one of them, wrote a letter to the court telling them not to be intimidated by these kinds of suggestions and that we supported the judicial independence.” (Hugh Hewitt, 9/3/2019)

September 16, 2019: SEN. McCONNELL: “Six of the Democrat presidential candidates — plus one who has now quit to run for the Senate — have publicly flirted with packing the Supreme Court. Court-packing. Today’s bold new Democrat idea is a failed power grab from the 1930s. Just a few weeks ago, some Senate Democrats nakedly threatened the Supreme Court justices in writing. Our colleagues sent the Court an outlandish brief, gravely intoning that ‘the Supreme Court is not well.’ Here was the punchline: Either issue rulings we like or we’ll pack the Court. This is not normal political behavior. These are the actions of a political party whose agenda is so alien to the Constitution that they feel threatened by fair and faithful judges.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/16/2019)

March 5, 2020: SEN. McCONNELL: “There is nothing to call this except a threat. And there is absolutely no question to whom it was directed. Contrary to what the Democratic Leader has since tried to claim, he very clearly was not addressing Republican lawmakers or anybody else. He literally directed the statement to the Justices, by name…. The Minority Leader of the United States Senate threatened two Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Period. There’s no other way to interpret that.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/05/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “These efforts to attack judicial independence remind us that independence is essential. Every time Democrats try to threaten sitting Justices, we are reminded exactly why the Framers gave them life tenure and salary protection. Every time Democrats toy with packing new seats onto the Court, we are reminded exactly why, as Justice Ginsburg recently said, ‘nine seems to be a good number.’ The distinguished men and women of the Supreme Court do not, and must not, serve at the pleasure of angry partisans…. Republicans are absolutely and unshakably committed to the core constitutional principle of an independent federal judiciary.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/05/2020)

July 2, 2020: SEN. McCONNELL: “Step back and look at the landscape of fundamental changes that leading Democrats or their close allies are demanding: Amending the First Amendment, to restrict its protections. Ending the Electoral College. Packing the Supreme Court with new Justices. Packing the Senate with new states. And — to accomplish all this— destroying the Senate’s distinguishing feature that makes radical change hard by design.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/02/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “On a similar note, you may remember that a kind of naked intimidation without modern precedent took place a few months ago. The Democratic Leader stood by the steps of the Supreme Court and directly threatened Justices if they ruled the wrong way in the June Medical Services case. This display aligned with a whole new tradition of Senate Democrats threatening judges. A year ago, several wrote the Justices saying, quote, “the Court is not well [and] perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured.’ In other words: Nice judicial independence you’ve got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it. Right on cue, a number of left-wing groups are agitating to revive the discredited notion of court-packing.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/02/2020)

September 17, 2020: SEN. McCONNELL: “And here’s what they’re going to do after they change the filibuster: They’re going to admit the District [of Columbia] as a state. They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That’s four new Democratic Senators in perpetuity. And once they get a hammerlock on the Senate, they’re going to then pack the Supreme Court, the Circuit Courts, and the District Courts by creating new vacancies, filling them with judicial activists.” (The Guy Benson Show, 9/17/2020)

September 22, 2020: SEN. McCONNELL: “These threats are not new. They have nothing to do with this new vacancy. Democrats have already been playing this game for more than a year and a half. It was more than a year ago that several Senate Democrats threatened the Supreme Court in a written brief. They said ‘the Court is not well [and] perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured.’ It was more than a year ago that Democrats competing for their party’s presidential nomination made Court-packing a central element in their platforms. It was more than six months ago that the Democratic Leader appeared outside the Court and threatened specific Justices if they did not rule his way.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/22/2020)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “I’ll tell you what really could threaten our system of government. It is not Senate Republicans doing legitimate things, squarely within the Senate rules and within the Constitution, that Democrats happen to dislike. No, what could really threaten our system is if one of our two major parties continues to pretend the whole system is automatically illegitimate whenever they lose. If they continue to act like, for their side of the aisle, a legitimate defeat is an oxymoron. That is the danger to our democracy. Every one of these attacks on our institutions only underscores how important they are. Every threat to turn our courts into a political tug-of-war only reinforces why the Senate is charged with protecting our independent judiciary -- and why this majority’s work with President Trump on this task is so crucial.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/22/2020)

October 2, 2020: HUGH HEWITT: “[Sen. Kamala Harris] and the former Vice President ought to be criticized for not answering the question about packing the Court.”
SEN. McCONNELL: “[W]ell look, Hugh, on that, when they don’t answer the question, you know what the answer is. The answer is yes. They fully intend to pack the Court.” (The Hugh Hewitt Show, 10/02/2020)

October 22, 2020: LEADER McCONNELL: “[Sen. Schumer] is trying to invent a justification to declare war on judicial independence and pack the Supreme Court if Democrats should win power. Back in March, he walked across the street and threatened Justices by name if they ruled against his wishes. And now, even though this Court ended up delighting the political left with several decisions this year, he still wants an excuse to pack the Court. The American people know what a terrible idea this is. Polls show majority support for confirming Judge Barrett and overwhelming opposition to court-packing. The American people are glad that Franklin Roosevelt didn’t get to blow up our independent judiciary in 1937 and they strongly oppose Democrats’ threats now.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 10/22/2020)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Senate Democrats