Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer angered hardcore leftists when he denounced the idea of court-packing.
“If the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on the other branches,” Breyer said in a speech to Harvard Law.
“The court’s decision in the 2000 presidential election case, Bush v. Gore, is often referred to as an example of its favoritism of conservative causes,” he later added. “But the court did not hear or decide cases that affected the political disagreements arising out of the 2020 Trump v. Biden election. It did uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare, the health care program favored by liberals,” Breyer said in noting some of the things that the court has sided with liberals on. “It did re-affirm precedents that favored a woman’s right to an abortion. It did find unlawful certain immigration, census, and other orders, rules, or regulations, favored by a conservative president.”
A recent op-ed for MSNBC lamented Breyer’s position and called on him to step down from the bench so Biden can replace him, fearing another Ruth Bader Ginsburg incident.
“First, where on Earth has he been over the past two decades as the Supreme Court delivered one partisan decision after another? Napping? Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a member of the Judiciary Committee, has tallied ’80 5-4 partisan decisions by Republican Justices giving victories to big Republican donor interests’ in the 15 years since Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in in 2005. Does Breyer really believe these rulings — in which he dissented! — were all guided by ‘legal principle, not politics’?” lamented Mehdi Hasan.
“As for ‘confidence’ in the Supreme Court, how about the fact that a majority of the nine justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote? Or that one of those five, Neil Gorsuch, is sitting in a blatantly stolen seat? Or that two of the nine justices, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct?” continued Hasan.
On Breyer’s position regarding the far-left’s desire to pack the court, Hasan put forth the idea that Republicans have already packed the Supreme Court.
“Why did he not say this to conservatives in 2016? When Republicans led by McConnell, R-Ky., reduced the Supreme Court from nine to eight justices for 14 months — between Scalia’s death and Gorsuch’s confirmation — did that not count as ‘structural alteration’?” asked Hasan. “How else to describe the refusal to even consider President Barack Obama’s nominee for the vacant seat? Or Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s suggestion in October 2016 to keep the court at fewer than nine justices for four more years if Hillary Clinton won the presidential election?”
“It feels odd for me to have to remind a sitting justice that nowhere in the Constitution does it say there should be nine justices on the court. The court’s own website says, ‘The Constitution places the power to determine the number of Justices in the hands of Congress,'” Hasan continued. “In fact, if Biden does eventually yield to pressure from liberal activists and Democratic lawmakers and decides to change the size of the court, backed by a congressional majority, he will be following in the footsteps of five previous presidents — history-makers like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant.”
Recalling the untimely death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the eve of the 2020 election, Hasan urged Breyer to step down from his seat prior to the 2024 election so that President Biden can replace him.