Letters to the Editor

Court packing seems to be a hot ticket item on today’s political agenda; since our country’s inception it was deemed too radical, too abominable and too dangerous to the stilts that our delicate governmental system rests upon. That all changed during the first and only 2020 Vice-Presidential debate wherein Kamala Harris flipped the whole topic on its head.

Court packing is the idea first proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. It detailed that additional seats (biased towards one’s own party) may be added to the Supreme Court in order to pass favorable rulings for one side of the political aisle. In 1937, Roosevelt’s own party dictated this strategy far too radical and dangerous to the foundation of American liberty. Democratic party views have since changed. When questioned on whether or not they will pack the court, Biden and Harris have repeatedly refused to answer the question. Recently Biden, in response to a question asking if the American people had a right to know about his stance, stated that they did not. Harris took a different approach-she refused to answer the question, while pivoting towards the “racial injustices” present on the court today. She cited that out of the 50 candidates proposed by the Trump administration, none of them were black. Apparently, she was unaware that Justice appointments are decided by merit, not by skin color. This is not to say that black persons are unable to serve on the court; simply that those on the list were the most qualified through their achievements and records (not their skin color).

Naturally, mainstream media picked up on the leftist side of the issue; over this election we have seen the fundamental redefinition of what “court packing” really is. Harris’ original idea about anti-black appointments was transformed into a broader idea: Republicans have been “packing the court for decades.” This would be perfectly reasonable, except this notion is factually incorrect. Democratic leadership has labeled appointment of judges to vacancies on the court as court packing. This is simply not true-appointment of justices (Supreme Court judges) to spots vacated by previous justices is not only the norm, it is a constitutional obligation. Unfortunately, facts are ignored by most media platforms and subsequently those who follow them.

Quarrelling over court packing is certainly important, but the Democrats’ gung-ho attitude towards packing is indicative of a deeply insidious mindset towards the judicial branch. Alexander Hamilton originally described the judicial branch as deliberately weak-it had no power except to determine disputed statutes constitutionality. The judicial branch was supposed to be completely devoid of political affiliation-of course this is not perfect because people always have some bias, but for the most part justices aim to be non partisan. That’s what makes court packing so frightening-it threatens to transform the judicial branch into a yes man for the packing party. In 1937, Roosevelt wanted to use packing to pass his New Deal legislation. 2020 brings the leftist goal of eradicating conservative ideas from all parts of government. By adding leftist justices to the court, leftists would be able to pass any form of legislation they want once Biden takes office. In layman’s terms, packing the court would create a greenlight for any policy enacted by the Biden administration (or any administration in power that decides to pack the courts).

The promise of court packing, in the full and real definition of the word, should shake every single American to the bone. To those on left on the aisle: keep in mind that just because you agree with your parties ideas now, there is no assurance that you will agree with them later. For those to the right: remember that truth dies when those who know it fail to speak.

Democracy is by no means an assurance of personal freedom-in fact it almost certainly leads to mob rule and a sort of tyranny. It takes Republican checks and balances to hold the mob at bay, while concurrently representing the people under its rule. Balance is hard won and harder kept; to implement court packing would surely tip the scales towards tyranny and destroy our precarious position.

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