President Joe Biden is fulfilling a campaign promise to look into “reforming” the Supreme Court.
And that has the far-left excited. The phrase has a very specific meaning to them.
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It’s not about reform so much as transformation – changing the makeup of the court to give liberals control.
And it could happen a lot more easily than many people believe, because some of the specifics about the court aren’t necessarily enshrined in the Constitution.
That means key rules can be changed – and Biden took a step toward making those changes this past week when Politico reported he was creating a bipartisan panel to study court “reform.”
The website said several members of what’s expected to be a 9- to 15-person panel have been selected.
And some of them have already indicated they support some of the liberal fantasy scenarios of remaking the court.
The first is by giving the justices either a set term or a retirement age.
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Making it 70 – the retirement age for judges in multiple states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New York – would lead to three immediate retirements: Stephen Breyer (82), Clarence Thomas (72), and Sam Alito (70).
That would allow Biden to replace two conservatives and a liberal so the court would flip from a 6-3 conservative majority to a 5-4 liberal edge.
It would also leave two looming openings: Sonia Sotomayor in 2024, and Chief Justice John Roberts in 2025.
Similarly, a term of 15 years would lead to four immediate retirements: Thomas, Breyer, Roberts, and Alito. Biden replacing all four would give the court a 6-3 liberal tilt.
At least one member of the panel favors a term limit: Biden campaign lawyer Bob Bauer, who Politico reports will co-chair the commission, wrote a 2005 editorial in the Washington Post in support of the idea.
The problem with retirement age or a term limit is that the Constitution states justices shall serve “during good behavior,” and changing that could require an amendment – which isn’t going to happen.
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However, there may also be a loophole: It’s possible that Supreme Court justices could simply be reassigned elsewhere in the federal judiciary at the end of the term, a move that may be constitutional and would not require an amendment.
But there’s also another option that has the left riled up and motivated, and at least one reported member of Biden’s commission is known to support it.
That’s the idea of “stacking” or “packing” the court.
“I often point out to people who aren’t lawyers that the Supreme Court is not defined as ‘nine-person body’ in the Constitution, and it has changed size many times,” Caroline Fredrickson, the former president of the American Constitution Society, said in a 2019 interview, according to Politico.
The website says she’ll be on the panel… where she’ll be able to push for that idea, and that one ISN’T mentioned in the Constitution.
A simple act of Congress could give the Supreme two new members, or 10 new members, or 50 new members.
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And with Biden now in the White House, they’d all be liberal judges, set to remake law with an activist bent for generations to come.
Just about the only thing standing in the way is the Senate filibuster, which means 60 votes would be required to pass such a law… and since the Democrats only have 50, they’re still 10 short.
But that, in turn, means something else: The 2022 midterm elections will be more important than ever.
A GOP win could stop the extremist agenda. But if the Democrats expand their majority, there’s no telling what the court would look like come 2023.