Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote an op-ed Tuesday, calling the Democrats’ current attempt to pack the Supreme Court “way off base.”
Grassley wrote former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once used his “bully pulpit” to try to pack the Supreme Court. The senior senator from Iowa kindly explained Roosevelt “struck out.” During the midterm election in 1938, “His party lost 72 seats in the House of Representatives and seven seats in the Senate.”
He added, “History repeats itself.”
“President Joe Biden knows” what is coming for him and the Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington, he claimed.
Grassley has been a member of the Judiciary Committee since 1981, and as mentioned, has chaired the committee for four of those years. Grassley said that over the course of his time on the committee, he has “participated in 16 Supreme Court confirmations and more than a thousand more to fill vacancies in the nation’s lower courts.”
After being a part of the committee during those years, he has been able to see countless senators on the committee, watching how they voted.
It was, then, not a surprise when Grassley wrote he agrees with a statement Biden made in 1983, when he was a member of the same committee. As Grassley wrote in the op-ed, “Then-Sen. Biden called FDR’s court-packing effort ‘a bonehead idea.'”
“It’s a pure power grab that would incinerate public trust in our institutions of government,” Grassley added.
Grassley wrote that by giving “lifetime appointments in the federal judiciary,” it gives the American people a constitutional check on the legislative branch. The Supreme Court has the final word on matters that have a lasting effect on the “lives and livelihoods of people, from healthcare to taxes, abortion, gun control, privacy, and voting laws,” Grassley wrote.
Grassley again reflected on when he was a member of the committee. He brought up the time he witnessed a “well-orchestrated slander campaign” against the Judge Robert Bork nomination in 1987. He said this is where he saw “bare-knuckle politics” take place, which happened again a few years later. The next time was during the confirmation process of then-Judge Clarence Thomas. Thomas also had to defend his reputation from the smear tactics used against him.
Later in his career, during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Grassley observed unprecedented attempts from the Democrats to smear Kavanaugh’s name as well. Grassley said he “refused to cave to the mob and carried out the committee’s responsibilities to vet the nominee thoroughly and fairly for a consequential lifetime appointment.”
Grassley’s experience has led him to believe the Democrats are blinded by pressure from the left wing, who are attempting to reshape the United States after the 2020 election. The Democrats are using a “conservative majority” on the Court as one of their talking points.
Grassley wrote the Democrats are looking to:
…pack the court while they can and add four justices to rubber-stamp their radical plans. To put in perspective how extreme their proposal is, consider the recent remarks of liberal Justice Stephen Breyer and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg against the idea of adding seats to the Supreme Court.
Grassley believes by the Democrats “scrapping the filibuster, packing the court, and hewing to an ideology that’s out of sync with most people is bad policy and an electoral mistake,” and everyone can see what is going on.
Chief Justice John Roberts also witnessed the power of the Democrats’ partisanshio during his confirmation in 2005. Grassley mentioned Roberts once said, “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires.”
“Right now,” he mentioned, while the Democrats have the control of both the Senate and House, they are “swinging for the fences to cement their radical agenda.” Though they have a very slim majority, Grassley added, the “left are impatient,” which is why “they want to change the rules.”
“In judicial politics, changing the rules to get what you want will backfire in the long run. Just ask former Sen. Harry Reid.” Grassley brought up.
While it looks like Biden and Pelosi “have put court-packing on the back burner,” other lawmakers have not. Some of the lawmakers are looking to “undermine the high court,” Grassley added last week.
The senior senator from the Hawkeye state ended his op-ed by stating, the Democrats’ “power grab is way off base. Congress knows it. The president knows it. And more importantly, the people know it. Roberts would call that three strikes against an independent judiciary.”