Whatever happened to that plan where the Democrats were going to expand the Supreme Court until they had a majority of liberal justices as soon as they get Donald Trump out of office? It seems to me that there was quite a bit of talk about it, despite the fact that the Republicans would just do the same thing when the pendulum swung back the other way. If it’s that much of a priority, you’d think that the dozens of Democrats running for President would be talking it up out on the campaign trail already, no?
Well… no. At least not yet. The Free Beacon put the question to most of the current poll leaders and, somewhat amazingly, not a single one wanted to go on record about it.
2020 Democratic presidential candidates are silent about whether they support recent progressive calls to “pack” the Supreme Court over anger with the conservative majority.
Asked by the Washington Free Beacon if they would consider adding more Supreme Court justices upon becoming president, officially declared 2020 candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D.), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) and former Obama housing chief Julián Castro did not respond.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.). who’s formed an exploratory committee, also did not respond, although she’s previously called the notions of court-packing or imposing term limits “interesting ideas” that she would have to think more about.
Gillibrand’s answer (an “interesting idea” she’ll have to think more about) can probably be written off for purposes of this discussion. Some years back when I was communications director in a congressional campaign, I heard my candidate give the same answer, nearly word for word, on any number of occasions. We’d be doing a campaign stop and some enthusiastic supporter would come running up and excitedly describe their brilliant plan. It was usually along the lines of asking the candidate to promise that, if elected, he would show up on the first day and order the Capitol Hill police to arrest Barack Obama for being in the country illegally.
“Huh. Interesting idea. I’ll have to look into that.” Then you quickly move away and bring up a new subject.
But in this case, it’s not nearly as far out of the question for Democrats to contemplate packing the court. It’s been attempted before and could be accomplished with a relatively simple legislative change in Congress, signed off on by the new Democratic president. (It’s still crazy, mind you, but it’s a completely manageable form of insanity.) So why aren’t they promoting this plan when it’s clearly popular with much of the Democratic base?
More to the point, with all of the town halls that CNN is hosting and the weekly rounds of Sunday morning interviews, why isn’t the media asking them about it? They won’t answer requests from the Free Beacon, but if Jake Tapper pins them down on State of the Union and won’t settle for an “interesting idea” answer, they’ll have to stake out a position. Let’s get on this, journalists. You can’t deny that it’s a topic of interest to Democratic primary voters. Do your jobs and get them on record.