Senate Dems Threaten to Pack the Supreme Court; Republicans Say No

Friday, August 30, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Bob Adelmann
Friday, 30 August 2019

Seeing the judicial pendulum swinging back in favor of the Constitution, five Senate Democrats chose a pending case to vent their frustration and to issue a threat: Unless you stop the pendulum, we’ll push to pack the court with friendlies.

The case selected is the New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. the City of New York. The Association thinks the city’s new ordinance limiting the transport of firearms to gun ranges outside the city is unconstitutional and sued the city accordingly. The case moved to the Supreme Court, which granted its petition to review a lower court’s ruling. In the meantime, New York City officials modified the offending law, declaring the case “moot.”

Five liberal, anti-gun Democrat Senators — Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — filed a “friend of the court” brief asking the Court to dismiss hearing the case as the city’s modifications have, in their opinion, rendered the suit brought by the Association as now no longer relevant.

They went further. In that letter they made it clear that if the Supreme Court went ahead to hear the case anyway, and ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, they would move to expand the number of justices on the court to include those more friendly to their cause and their agenda.

They accused outside actors of bringing particular cases before the Court in order to “move the law”:

As scholars, journalists, and commentators have observed, this Court has employed a number of methods to circumvent justiciability limits [the limits in legal issues over which the Court can properly exercise its judicial authority] in decisions that moved the law….

Others have documented members of this Court affirmatively inviting challenges to long-established precedent, or leaving “time bombs” in opinions by including “subtle dicta or analysis not necessary to decide [a case] with an eye toward influencing how the Court will decide a future case.”

The senators concluded that “the Court is not standing back in dispassionate form and ‘calling balls and strikes’ when it is laying the groundwork for future policy changes or soliciting opportunities to change policy. That should be unacceptable in the context of separated powers.”

The Rest…HERE

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