“The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” the brief said. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.’”
That’s the “friendly” warning message that was sent by five Senate Democrats in a brief filed in the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v City of New York.
As Fox News notes . . .
Dramatic changes to the Supreme Court have been proposed by several Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, with “court-packing” being a common — though highly controversial — suggestion. Increasing the number of justices on the court would allow the president to shift the balance on the bench by loading up justices of his or her preference.
Democratic candidates, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, and Gillibrand, all have signaled an openness to expanding the number of judges on the court should they reach the White House.
Today, fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Supreme Court is “mainly motivated by politics” (up five percent from last year); fifty-nine percent believe the Court is “too influenced by politics”; and a majority now believes the “Supreme Court should be restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.”
To our ears, the warning smacked of desperation, a weak, last-ditch effort to possibly affect the outcome of a case that could have seismic implications if it goes against the forces of gun control.
To get a more informed opinion, TTAG talked to two attorneys who practice at the federal level and agreed to comment anonymously. They said . . .
This amicus brief was written for an audience of one.
They know that Chief Justice Roberts is a cowardly weakling who is susceptible to this kind of pressure (word is that he caved and changed his vote shortly before the Obamacare decision came out, after Obama engaged in some similar saber-rattling). And of course his concurrence in the case on Auer deference was a textbook example of his cowardice behind a mask of appearing “judicial.”
One can only hope that Roberts is smart enough to recognize that if he keeps caving to this kind of pressure, he’ll just encourage more of it, to the lasting injury to the Court.
Funny how none of these folks were decrying the pressing need for “consensus” when the 5-4 decisions were going the other way.
When we expressed concern over another 4-4-1-style, split the baby result here, they replied . . .
One can hope that Kavanaugh — who recent history shows is clearly NOT a coward — can stiffen his spine.
One “Robertsesque” move I see him doing would be to immediately grant cert in another Second Amendment test case, and schedule it for oral argument at the same time as NYSR&PA.That way, Roberts could throw a sop to one crowd by finding NYSR&PA moot, while also instituting strict scrutiny thru the other case so that he doesn’t look like he’s caving to public pressure.
Of course, setting the precedent that you can evade SCOTUS review by making cosmetic changes to a law after a cert grant would be incredibly corrosive.
Hold onto your seats.