During a debate between Montana Senator Steve Daines (R) and Democratic Governor-turned-Senate candidate Steve Bullock on Saturday, an exchange took place regarding the latest hot-button issue of court-packing.
In response to the upcoming confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Bullock claimed that Daines and the Republicans were “packing the court.”
“You are packing the court right now,” Bullock exclaimed.
A similar statement was recently made by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. “The only court packing is going on right now—it’s going on with Republicans packing the court now,” Biden claimed.
Other progressives have swiftly picked up on this trend, and have begun to muddy the water with it.
Court-packing is a specific action, or set of actions. As The Daily Wire has reported, what is widely understood to be “court-packing” originated when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted to add justices to the Supreme Court in the 1930s.
Largely seen as a political ploy to change the court for favorable rulings on New Deal legislation, the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, commonly referred to as the “court-packing plan,” was Roosevelt’s attempt to appoint up to six additional justices to the Supreme Court for every justice older than 70 years, 6 months, who had served 10 years or more.”
Joe Biden, Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and other Democrats are being asked repeatedly about packing the courts following statements from progressives indicating that such a plan is on the table as revenge for Republicans confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court. However, despite the efforts by reporters, Biden and Harris have refused to provide direct answers.
When asked by a reporter on Friday if the voters deserved to know his stance on court-packing, Biden replied: “No, they don’t.” The former vice president had previously said that he would only offer his opinion on the matter after the election.
As a result of persistent questioning by journalists regarding court-packing, and the perhaps unfortunate outcome that a direct answer (whether affirming or rejecting the practice) from the Biden campaign would bring, the need has arisen for a diversion strategy—and that strategy is to project onto Republicans.
They’re the ones court-packing! It’s the Republicans!
This is a definitional-shift tactic wherein a word or phrase is weaponized by layering onto it a new definition, one that benefits the user by confusing the broader public. If the progressive take on the term “court-packing” is repeated enough times on the national stage and by legacy media outlets, the term itself will not only become diluted, but it will cause fractures in public understanding. These fractures will eventually lead to the idea becoming too frustrating a topic to engage with, and an abandoning of it by the public.
At least, that’s what progressives engaged in this tactic likely hope will happen.
Definitional-shift is a common political move—one that’s been employed over the last several years to spectacular effect with the word “racism.” It was once understood that “racism” was the belief that one’s own race was superior to another’s, and that such a belief was usually based entirely on skin color. Now, “racism” has been almost entirely redefined by the Left. “Racism” is no longer something in which anyone can be engaged, but only something in which those in “power” can be engaged.
The same thing, albeit on a much smaller scale and at a much faster pace, is happening before our eyes with the term “court-packing.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.