2020 Dems Back Ocasio-Cortez’s Calls to ‘Pack the Supreme Court' with Leftists
Democrat socialist's plot to force America to the left is catching on with mainstream Dems
2020 Democrats are jumping on board with a plot originally proclaimed by radical socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; to "pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America" and force America to the left.
Ocasio-Cortez was floating a fringe fantasy of increasing the number of justices from nine to fifteen in a bid to kick-start a left-wing transformation of America.
When AOC first made the call during a talk on October 1 last year, she was a little-known primary candidate.
But now the 29-year-old progressive lawmaker is in the House of Representatives and one of the most prominent figures in the Democratic Party, with her ideas not only getting attention, but they're also going mainstream and being picked up by presidential election candidates as core fodder for their own campaigns.
Due to her massive social media profile, AOC has become one of the most famous politicians in America.
The Democratic party is being pushed further to the radical left due to the New York congresswoman's pronouncements and the uncompromisingly extreme section of the progressive movement she appeals to.
According to the Washington Times, four 2020 candidates are following her lead and have endorsed or are open to "packing the court."
The pressure group Pack the Courts is advertising using Means of Production, a self-described pro-Marxist production firm that produced viral online ads for Ocasio-Cortez.
Linking the Democratic party's leftist and establishment wings, Pack the Courts has teamed up with Demand Justice, a group run by Brian Fallon, a former Hillary Clinton press secretary.
The Supreme Court has been set at nine seats since 1869, and the last attempt at packing the court occurred in 1937 when FDR was frustrated that the court had stymied some of his New Deal proposals.
He proposed appointing a new justice for every sitting justice over 70 years old, and even the Democratic-controlled Congress at the time was opposed.
But what spurred a backlash in the 1930s is firing up the progressive base in 2019.
President Trump's successful nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the court have incensed liberals.
Democrats were livid that Republicans did not allow confirmation hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
That anger turned to fury when Kavanaugh, nominated after Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, squeezed through to confirmation by the slimmest of margins after facing incendiary uncorroborated allegations of decades-old sexual assault.
Ocasio-Cortez made her call to pack the court in the midst of the Kavanaugh fight.
Josh Blackman, an associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law Houston, said: “The effort to pack the court began the day after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement.
"For years, they thought they had a swing vote in their back pocket, and the second they lost that they went directly to court packing.”
This week, 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris refused to rule out packing the Supreme Court, saying "everything is on the table.”
She is just the latest in a string of Democratic hopefuls who have shown openness to the idea.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., is a firm advocate of expanding the Supreme Court. during a CNN Democratic presidential town hall.
“So, what we need to do is stop the Supreme Court from sliding toward being viewed as a nakedly political institution," he said recently.
"And I’m for us contemplating whatever policy options will allow that to be possible.
"One of them involves having 15 instead of nine justices."
Buttigieg contended that this was not a radical idea: "I don’t think there is anything about this approach that’s any more radical than the shattering of norms that Senate Republicans have gone through in order to get the Court to where it is today.”
Kirsten Gillibrand said in January that packing the court is an “interesting idea that I would need to think more about” and criticized both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, as well as the direction of the court.
A month later, Elizabeth Warren also said she wanted to take action: “So first they steal a Supreme Court seat then they turn around and change the rules on filibuster on a Supreme Court seat.
"And so when it swings back around us what are we going to do.
"And my answer on that is all the options are on the table that that’s how we going to do this.
"If the Republicans are going to try to block us on key pieces that we’re trying to move forward then you better believe we got to keep all the options on the table.”
Last week, Beto O'Rourke said that packing the court was "an idea that we should explore," along with term limits for justices. He said:
"What if there were five justices selected by Democrats, five justices selected by Republicans, and those 10 then picked five more judges as independent of those who chose the first 10?
"There's another idea of having term limits on those justices so there’s a more regular rotation through there.
"We’re a country of 320 million people, there’s got to be the talent and wisdom and the perspective and that court should be able to reflect the diversity that we are composed of in this country."
Pack the Courts is a new liberal activist group with the unabashed goal of increasing the size of the Supreme Court and filling the new spots with liberal justices.
And they want to use the issue as a litmus test for Democratic contenders in 2020.
The founder of Pack the Courts is Aaron Belkin, a professor at San Francisco State University, an LGBT activist, and the founding director of the Palm Center, a left-wing California think tank that focuses on gender and LGBT military policy.
Belkin’s own think tank gave Pack the Courts a $500,000 grant.
Belkin recently explained his motivation: “To nullify the theft of the Garland seat, two justices would have to be added to nullify Gorsuch’s votes and to the extent that President [Trump] obtained the presidency by breaking the law, then two seats would have to be added to nullify the Kavanaugh seat.”
He stated via Twitter: “If we don't pack the Court, SCOTUS will not allow us to restore democracy.”
To run its online advertising, Pack the Courts chose Means of Production, a firm run by Nick Hayes and Naomi Burton, who describe themselves as “card-carrying members of DSA[Democratic Socialists of America]” and who “hope to create more propaganda that boosts their work and ideas.”
They say their goal is “overthrowing capitalism.”
This is the same firm that produced viral online ads for Ocasio-Cortez.
Means of Production is open about the work it has done on behalf of Democratic Socialists and praised the organization, saying: “Show us another political movement in this country today releasing and prioritizing explicit propaganda to advance its big-picture goals.”
Sean McElwee, an online activist best known for coining the #AbolishICE hashtag, joined the court-packing effort.
If he was able to make abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement a mainstream idea, perhaps he could do the same with packing the court.
He said recently that Pack the Courts would be taking a new approach to advancing the progressive agenda: "For the last two decades they’ve brought soldiers while we were bringing lawyers.
"And soldiers beat lawyers. And now we’re bringing our own soldiers and we’re approaching this the way the right has.”
Democrats need to change the rules if they want to change policy. https://t.co/C1M9j0MbKL— we’re going to pass AVR 🍉🍉 (@SeanMcElwee) March 16, 2019
Last October, McElwee said, “Democracy cannot work when a major political party steals courts, and that’s just what Republicans have done.
"The Republicans stole the courts and Democrats must ‘un-steal’ them ...
"Expansion, in other words, is the only option that imposes a proportionate political penalty for theft.”
Although packing the court may resonate with the progressive base, it remains to be seen how it will be received by the public at large.
Arthur Rizer, a former federal prosecutor now at the free-market think tank the R Street Institute, said: “Congress has the right to expand the court — but most in Congress understand that the Republicans would do the exact same thing on the next political swing.”
He added: "The American people had a taste of this in the 1930s — and they soundly rejected it."