The fascist con man who sits in the Oval Office will be nominating another Supreme Court Justice soon, and no accusation of hypocrisy or appeal to reason or decency will stop Mitch McConnell from making sure the Senate confirms that nominee. The only question is whether Susan Collins will pretend she isn’t voting to end Roe v Wade or abandon the pretense.
So this seems like a good time to suggest a couple of remedies that will be available to us when the Party of Trump has been removed from power.
One, and we can accomplish it shortly after regaining power, is expanding the court from 9 Justices to 11. A Democratic candidate for President who won’t endorse this isn’t worth supporting. As I said before,
[Republicans] will call it court packing (and for once they will be correct), they will call it unprecedented, they will call it unfair. And we should say nothing in response but “April 7, 2017.”
Another tactic, which we should use as soon as we can muster a 2/3 majority in the Senate, is to impeach some Supreme Court Justices.
But, argue the nervous liberal defenders of the courts, won’t such progressive attacks undermine the courts more generally?
Quite honestly, judicial independence is quite well defended in the U.S. Constitution. As noted, it takes a two-thirds vote of the Senate to remove a federal judge, which is almost insurmountable in our two-party system. The Justices don’t need us to watch our language to remain the least accountable branch of government.
But some progressive legal scholars seem to worry that rhetorical attacks on the Court will somehow delegitimize the Court in the public mind — as if that’s a bad thing.
Here’s the reality. Because of a few high-profile decisions under the Warren Court, many progressives are under the delusion that the courts are the institutional friend of civil rights and a democratic society. In fact, the courts have mostly been the enemy of democracy and liberties in this nation and served overwhelmingly as the handmaiden of corporate privilege.
And just to repeat myself, a Democratic candidate who says no to impeaching the worst Justices on the Court, who thinks we should “look forward not back,” who thinks impeachment would be “divisive,” is not worthy of Democratic primary votes.