OP ED: Will Steve Bullock Promise Not to Pack the Supreme Court?
By Mike Davis
Democrats have a long history of refusing to talk about issues that are wildly unpopular with the American people. One of the most infamous and illustrative examples came when Nancy Pelosi, while discussing Obamacare in 2010, said “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Fast forward ten years and Democrats are taking a similar tact when asked about the controversial issue of packing the Supreme Court. Not only has former Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly refused to answer the question, but he recently stated that Americans “don’t deserve” to know his position on the issue.
For many Montanans, this year’s presidential campaign is the first time they have heard the phrase “court-packing." Not since the 1930s have our nation’s leaders seriously considered such an extreme move. Court-packing would increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court, giving the President in office the ability to fill newly created and vacant seats and thus tilting the Court in that ideological direction. Following Biden’s lead, Kamala Harris has similarly refused to answer the question. In fact, both have indicated that American voters won’t know their position until after November’s election.
Unlike Biden and Harris, Montana Senate candidate Steve Bullock, the state’s Democratic governor, is no longer dodging the question of whether he supports a court-packing scheme. In a debate against incumbent Senator Steve Daines, Bullock argued that “[w]e need to figure out the ways to actually get the politics out of the court” and indicated openness to any liberal proposal reforming the Supreme Court, including “adding justices.”
Now that Bullock has acknowledged that he’s willing to do the bidding of the liberal left, will he call on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to clarify their position on packing the Supreme Court?
Either way, Montanans will not be fooled. They know that Biden, Harris, and Steve Bullock’s plan to jam through court-packing – a radical assault on judicial independence – if they win in November.
President Donald Trump has enjoyed historic success in filling judicial vacancies, prompting this liberal panic. These include Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh – and most recently Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Flipping the majority on the federal courts to jurists who believe in the rule of law, rather than the will of agenda-driven liberal activists, has the left searching for any means by which to retake the judiciary. Indeed, federal judges are our last line of defense against government overreach and mob rule.
Enter court-packing. The call to add seats to the Supreme Court is so extreme that even President Franklin D. Roosevelt was unable to achieve it at a time when Congress rubber-stamped the rest of his agenda. In 1937, FDR proposed adding six justices to the nation's highest bench to flip the Court to one that would allow his unconstitutional New Deal policies to stand. Congress – overwhelmingly controlled by FDR's own party – rejected the idea, and the number nine has remained secure...until now.
Under the Constitution, the Congress sets the number of justices on the Supreme Court. If Democrats, who already control the House of Representatives, maintain that majority and also retake the Senate and the White House, Americans should expect them to attempt this extreme court-packing scheme. Sending Steve Bullock to the Senate would all but guarantee Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) the majority he needs to enact this scheme. By increasing the number of justices from nine to 11, or more, Bullock would enable a President Biden to quickly fill those seats with agenda-driven liberals set on eviscerating the rule of law. In other words, he would be a “lap dog” for the left.
These liberal justices will take away our constitutional rights to speak, associate, worship and protect our families. And that's the Democrats' plan, even if Biden and Harris won't publicly admit it. The year 2020 has proven that Democrats have no qualms about destroying America as we know it. Montanans now know that Steve Bullock plans to participate in its demise.
Mike Davis is the founder and president of the Article III Project (A3P). Last Congress (2017-19), Davis served as the chief counsel for nominations to then-Chairman Chuck Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked with Senator Perdue on judicial nominations and served as staff leader for the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh and a record-number of federal circuit judges. Davis previously clerked for Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, both on the Supreme Court and Tenth Circuit.