Voters who do not want to be ruled by unelected judges want President Donald Trump to nominate and the Republican Senate to confirm the next Supreme Court justice. If Democrats deploy outrageous delaying tactics such as conducting a sham impeachment — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., replied simply “we have our options” when asked about the possibility by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday — the Republican Senate majority should simply dispense with hearings and hold a vote.
History favors presidents filling such slots when their party controls the Senate. That Democrats are upset Trump gets to make another appointment to the court doesn’t change history or amend the Constitution.
The charge that Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are acting with extreme ruthlessness and hypocrisy, given their decision not to consider a Democratic president’s nominees in advance of the 2016 election, is particularly amusing. Democrats know how to use power when they have it, too. Then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., simply changed the Senate’s rules in 2013 when he wanted to jam President Barack Obama’s nominees onto the District of Columbia Circuit. Cries of fear over a rapidly spreading fire don’t count for much when it’s the arsonists doing the screaming.
On Saturday on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation,” former attorney general Eric Holder called on Democrats to add seats to the Supreme Court, which has been fixed at nine since 1869, if this one seat is filled by Trump and the Senate GOP.
“Court packing” would be a fundamental assault on the stability of the republic, the sort of radical proposal that should make independent and moderate voters step back and shake their heads at what Trump Derangement Syndrome has done to the Democratic Party.
It is not the only radical proposal being pursued by many Democrats. The “Green New Deal” is an unhinged mess of slogans, and creating states from D.C. and Puerto Rico to add senators would be extreme steps on their own, as is the push for a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to overturn the electoral college. Of course, Democrats would have to end the Senate’s legislative filibuster to do these things, but that’s on the radicals’ agenda, too.
None of these compares with packing the Supreme Court, however, which has only been proposed by a president once — Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 — and his own party recoiled from it. No person is safe from the law when the law becomes as elastic as a packed court.
Raise the number of justices to, say, 15 by adding six liberals? When the GOP returns to power, it would add another gaggle, and eventually the court would reach into the dozens. The seesaw rocking of the country’s politics would only grow more violent. Yet Beltway Democrats are so hungry for power they are rushing to embrace this poison pill for the republic.
So the real “extremists” have “D” behind their names, and many of them held all of these views before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. The attempt to apply the label of hypocrite and to hide the fact that the Democrats are pursuing an extremist agenda is abetted by Blue Check Twitter addicts and the mainstream media. Those suffering from TDS have rallied to their latest anti-conservative cause of denying Trump his third justice. Nothing else matters — not stability, not the Constitution, not the rule of law — just beating Trump.
The names most often heard on Trump’s short list are all federal judges: Amy Coney Barrett, Allison Eid, Barbara Lagoa, Joan Larsen and Allison Jones Rushing. All are superbly qualified. Politically, Larsen does the most for Trump, offering momentum in her home state of Michigan, and not just for Trump but also for the Senate campaign of John James, the African American West Pointer and former Army officer who is battling incumbent Democrat Gary Peters. Larsen may also help a bit in Iowa, where she was born, but Michigan is where she won a state supreme court race before being confirmed to the federal bench. Larsen has vast charisma — “sparkle,” one of my federal judge friends put it to me — and Democrats attacking her will be attacking every suburban mom who also works outside of the home.
Many favor Lagoa, as she would be the first Cuban American on the court, and is the daughter of exiles fleeing communism. Lagoa could help rally Florida to the Trump column. Like Larsen, she would win any televised battle with the Judiciary Committee’s left wing.
But the point is they are all qualified. The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate, the Republicans have the Senate majority, and history favors the majority party’s use of that power. The GOP also knows that its candidates are toast, and the party blown apart, if they allow themselves to be intimidated by Manhattan-Beltway media elites into failing to meet this challenge. The good news is that McConnell and Graham know perfectly well that Twitter isn’t the country.
Expect fireworks, but also expect a confirmation.
Hugh Hewitt hosts a nationally syndicated radio show and is a political analyst for NBC.