Always remember: Any institution the Left doesn’t control, it will seek to destroy.
The Supreme Court dealt a series of serious blows to the Left’s agenda this summer, and leftists aren’t taking it well.
First, the high court ended racial discrimination in college admissions, which the Left views as essential to upholding the diversity, equity, and inclusion regime. Then the court struck down President Joe Biden’s blatantly unconstitutional student loan bailout scheme, which was unpopular with the general electorate but extremely popular with the base of his party.
Several other Supreme Court decisions have the Left pretty steamed at the moment, too. If you can’t discriminate against Asians or Christians, what’s the world coming to, right?
These developments have prompted more than a few left-wing luminaries to go into full arson mode with ideas to pack the Supreme Court with Democrat appointees or to impeach—using cooked up “ethics” complaints—any justice on the court who votes against the Left’s agenda.
The “squad,” as a group of female, left-wing House lawmakers has been dubbed, is leading the charge.
“They continue to overturn the will of the majority of the people and to make history for all the wrong reasons, legislating from the bench and being political from the bench,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said of the Supreme Court on MSNBC during an appearance Sunday.
A Pew Research poll released June 8 found that 82% of Americans say college admissions shouldn’t consider race. Most other polls on affirmative action, when they get to specifics, show that Americans are against racial preferences by wide margins.
So, although the Supreme Court has no obligation to vote with the majority of Americans, in this case it has. Pressley is simply siding with institutional elitesrather than the American people.
“These are the types of rulings that signal a dangerous creep towards authoritarianism and centralization of power in the court,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday.
Ocasio-Cortez said the Supreme Court now “exceeds its proper, limited role in our nation’s governance.”
In isolation, this might seem like a reasonable argument. But given the fact that Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, sees practically no other reason to limit the government in any way when it comes to her own expansive agenda, this criticism rings hollow.
Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez, and the rest of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are insistent that Biden simply start nominating Democrat appointees to the Supreme Court when there are no vacancies, despite not having the votes to push them through.
“Recent partisan decisions by the Supreme Court that destroyed historic protections for reproductive rights, voting rights, and more have undermined public trust in the court—even as inappropriate financial relationships between justices and conservative donors raised new questions about its integrity,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., a member of the progressive caucus, said in a written statement.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also signaled that she might be in on Democrats’ court-packing schemes.
“It’s been over 150 years since we’ve had an expansion of the court,” Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC, adding:
It was in the time of Lincoln that it went up to nine. So, the subject of whether that should happen is a discussion. It’s not, say, a rallying cry. But it’s a discussion. The president formed a commission, they did not recommend expansion of the court, that shouldn’t be the end of it.
Pelosi also mentioned the idea of imposing term limits for Supreme Court justices, who currently serve until they retire or die.
This is all because the Left senses it is losing the long-term institutional struggle on the Supreme Court, which it used to be able to rely on to affirm or further its agenda.
Leftists are outraged that the current court under Chief Justice John Roberts has been less willing to follow the precedents of the activist Warren Court in the 1950s and ’60s. Never mind if those decisions were wildly out of step with most Americans, in the past the Left celebrated the Supreme Court’s acting as a kind of super-legislature.
The Right responded to that radicalism not by calling for the destruction of the Supreme Court, but by building the long-term legal and political infrastructure to push serious, originalist judges onto the bench. The Left traditionally relied on institutional inertia and demagogic politicking—with a huge amount of help from the legacy media—to carry the day.
The Left’s strategy ran aground in the past few years, which is why we’re seeing leftists flip toward just blowing the Supreme Court sky high. They simply aren’t used to having any institution work against them at this point, especially not one as influential as the Supreme Court.
Biden and the Left know that they are unlikely to succeed in packing the Supreme Court, not now anyway. That idea is deeply unpopular and strikes most Americans as a tactic more typically seen in a banana republic.
However, the Left can pressure justices they don’t like to retire, in hopes of replacing them while a Democrat is in the White House. Additionally, leftists will continue to build a case to impeach those justices under any pretense they think will fly with the American people.
Worst of all, the Left relentlessly will call into question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court itself. This is being done to pave the way for leftists to do as they wish and “restructure” the court to give them the decisions they want, as National Review’s Dan McLaughlin pointed out on Twitter.
If you're defending the "stolen Supreme Court seat" rhetoric & efforts to delegitimize the current Court, & arguing that Court-packing is totally legitimate, you don't believe in norms at all, just in winning for your side. And you can't blame others for noticing that. https://t.co/6tvJwYWziP— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) July 6, 2023
Will the Left get its way? For the moment, no.
But the Democrats’ cynical, scorched-earth strategy is bad for the republic. They don’t care one bit about restoring the power of Congress in our constitutional system, or limits on government, or any of that.
The Left wants power, they don’t care from where it comes, and they are fine plunging this country into tyranny and chaos to get it.
Jarrett Stepman is a columnist for The Daily Signal. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” Original here. Reproduced with permission.