Democrats are threatening to abolish the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court if President Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans confirm a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away on Friday. Some are also threatening to add the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico as states — which means adding four Democrat seats to the Senate — in response.
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) September 19, 2020
But Democrats have been threatening to do these things for months — long before Ginsburg’s passing.
The idea of packing the Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices and filling the new positions with liberals has been floating around within the Democratic Party since Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Court, creating a new 5-4 conservative majority. In May 2019, the Boston Globe reported that then-South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was running for president, was backing a version of that plan in which the current justices would choose the new ones.
Not everyone supported the idea. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), perhaps remembering that even Democrats opposed packing the court when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried it, proposed “rotating” justices off the Court instead.
But a year later, influential liberal activist groups had taken up the cause. As Breitbart News reported, a broad coalition of left-wing organizations backed a plan to expand the Supreme Court by at least two seats, and fill the new vacancies with liberal justices.
By the end of June 2020, with Black Lives Matter riots raging throughout America, a more radical agenda had begun to come into focus. Democrats in the Senate used the filibuster to block Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) from offering moderate police reform legislation, and House Democrats passed a bill granting statehood to most of the District of Columbia. These new developments indicated that Democrats hoped to use the energy of the movement to enact sweeping changes after 2020.
As I noted:
With a permanent majority in the Senate, and the filibuster gone, Democrats will be able to redesign the country, even without passing a constitutional amendment. They will be able to expand the Supreme Court and pack it with liberals with just a simple majority. They will be able to make all eleven-million-plus illegal aliens in the country voting citizens, permanently altering the electorate in Democrats’ favor. They will pass a version of the Green New Deal. And so on.
I reported again:
They’re going to create a new Democrat-held Senate. They’re going to knock away the filibuster to get rid of minority protections in the Senate, and they’re just going to pass whatever they want. It’s going to be Green New Deal, amnesty for illegal immigrants, you name it. This is going to be a socialist revolution. They’ll rewrite the histories afterward so that those of us who remember things a little differently will be called racists. We won’t be published; we won’t be heard.
In July, Democrats circulated a platform that included D.C. statehood and hinted at statehood for Puerto Rico. Then, at the funeral for the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), former President Barack Obama let the cat out of the bag. He called for the filibuster to be eliminated and suggested that D.C. and Puerto Rico might be granted statehood. Then former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was revealed as the mastermind behind a “war room” to kill the filibuster called “Fix the Senate.” And Biden himself came out last week in favor of statehood for Puerto Rico — all before Ginsburg passed away on Friday.
There is nothing new about Democrats’ radical plans. Ginsburg’s passing is simply a pretext for them to pretend Republicans have forced them to adopt extreme measures. The only thing that has changed is that they might go beyond 11 judges at the Supreme Court, and extend their court-packing to the judiciary as a whole. They are cynically exploiting Ginsburg’s death.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.