So far, the drive by the group named ‘Pack the Courts’ is getting two maybes from Democratic presidential contenders and a no from a likely White House hopeful.
“I don’t think we should be laughing at it,” South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat, said last week at an event in Philadelphia…
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who’s also launched a presidential exploratory committee, said last month on ‘Pod Save America’ that expanding the court or imposing term limits were “interesting ideas.”…
“We’re in the process of reaching to every declared Democratic contender and hope to both enlighten them to the importance of this strategy for taking back the Court and enlist their support for their strategy,” ‘Pack the Court’ campaign manager Kate Kendell said…
The organization is partnering with ‘Demand Justice,’ another progressive group founded last year to try and counter GOP efforts to put more conservatives into federal courts.
‘Demand Justice’ director Brian Fallon – who served as press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – highlighted that “we strongly believe that reforming the Court — especially by expanding it — is the cornerstone for re-building American democracy.”
So far, only Rep. Swalwell has ruled out packing the court:
2020 Watch: Likely Democratic presidential contender @RepSwalwell – asked in NH if he would consider 'packing' the #SupremeCourt if elected to the White House, tells @foxnewspolitics "I wouldn’t. I think nine is good number." #nhpolitics #FITN #2020Election #CApolitics pic.twitter.com/VcOF74sGPS
— Paul Steinhauser (@steinhauserNH1) February 25, 2019
This is one of the few times I’ve ever agreed with Swalwell, but he’s clearly aware of the argument floating around out there which boils down to this: We can abandon norms because Trump.
Half a year ago I would have said this had zero chance of being adopted by anyone in serious contention. I still think it’s a long shot but I’d probably put the odds closer to 30% now. Why? Because the party has taken so many extreme positions over the past few months, on abortion, on immigration, on socialism, on climate change, that it no longer even stands out.
Before next November, there’s a chance one or more candidates will be touting their openness to racial reparations and a Universal Basic Income. If you’re going to go hard left on these issues (plus immigration and abortion), why would you stop at court packing?
The Democratic Party is trying to solidify support from the young socialists who galvanized Sanders’ 2016 campaign and who have now adopted the even more extreme Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as their favorite politician. Democrats aren’t going to risk sounding too moderate and losing another election to Trump. They’re letting the freak flag fly this time around.
If they were smart, the activists pushing this would focus on getting AOC to do an Instagram video about why it’s a totally reasonable thing to pack the courts. She’s setting the 2020 agenda, why not start at the top?