By Theresa Inacker
In recent days, we have seen both Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris dodge questions about “court-packing.” Biden finally said he “isn’t a fan of it”, but never said he would actually decline to do it if elected.
This is particularly troublesome as the Second Amendment hangs in the balance and the Supreme Court has declined to hear, let alone decide, a multitude of critically important Second Amendment cases for the past decade since the seminal Heller decision.
Justice Clarence Thomas recently commented on the Court’s failure to get involved in these critical cases in a New Jersey case, lamenting the results in Rogers v. Grewal.
.@JoeBiden said you don’t deserve to hear his stance on court packing ahead of the election. “They’ll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over.”
That reminds me of “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”https://t.co/y4bAlzEEVS
— Jo Jorgensen (@Jorgensen4POTUS) October 12, 2020
You probably know that the U.S. Supreme Court currently seats nine Justices in total. That number isn’t specified in the Constitution and the Court has a history of expansion. Adding seats on the Court isn’t necessarily an abuse of Constitutional power. However, packing the Court to ensure particular political outcomes would do clear damage to the balance between the branches of government, in direct violation of the spirit and purpose of the Constitutional concept of separation of powers.
Congress has the authority to change the number of seats on the Court by passing an act which would then be signed into law by the President. Found in Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution, and with a broad direction to Congress to establish the court system, it states
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
The number of Justices on the Court has changed over the years, looking something like a roller coaster ride from the founding until finally reaching stability at nine Justices in 1869.
1789: 6 Justices
1801: 5 Justices
1801: 6 Justices
1807: 7 Justices
1837: 9 Justices
1863: 10 Justices
1866: 7 Justices
1869: 9 Justices
This, despite attempts by Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 to pack the Court with political cronies in order to further his political agenda. It should be noted that the idea was very unpopular at the time.
Democrats either misunderstand the role of the judiciary or have zero conscience about abusing it to further their agenda. Legislative attempts to alter another branch of government is the essence of being willing to do anything to win and expand their power. The result would be the end of checks and balances and, ultimately, totalitarianism.
For decades now, some in the third branch of government have legislated from the bench, resulting in a loss of Second Amendment rights for people in states like New Jersey, Maryland and California. Lower courts have routinely failed to apply and uphold the Court’s Heller decision and the Court, so far, has done little about it.
For more on this decade-long judicial abdication, read Equal Justice Under Law? Not If You Want to Exercise Your Second Amendment Rights.
EXCLUSIVE: Kamala Harris dodges questions on court packing, claims Biden ‘has been very clear’https://t.co/BL6OozaUHP
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 14, 2020
While Congress has the power to shape the courts, the big picture, forest-for-the-trees vision found in our Constitution is one of a separation of powers with coequal branches. The Democrats, though, want to make the Supreme Court another legislative body, making laws from the bench rather than interpreting their constitutionality.
However, since Justices are tenured and not subject to election by the people, they are insulated from direct accountability. Judicial independence is critical, as the interpretation of law should not be political. Political reality, though, shows otherwise. Congress is the legislative body, not the judiciary.
Like a powder keg about to explode and vaporize your Second Amendment rights, a Democrat-controlled Congress, coupled with an anti-gun President like Joe Biden would be a legal nightmare and result in the loss of the Republic as we know it. Should Democrats succeed in their goal of packing the court with more Justices, you can be sure that gun control advocates would be appointed, the Second Amendment rights will be rendered meaningless, and perhaps even criminalized as they are here in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s law is written in such a way that all firearms are illegal with only certain, very narrow exceptions. The law wrongly places the burden of proof onto the accused.
If Joe Biden is given the opportunity to pack the Court with young, liberal Justices improperly inclined to legislate from the bench, we will be faced with the end of Second Amendment rights, which are already on life support in many states.
Joe Biden has already set forth a laundry list of gun-grabbing plans he supports if elected For an in depth discussion of his radical plans to disarm Americans and what they means for you, read Biden’s ‘Gun Violence Epidemic’ Plan is a Blueprint for Civilian Disarmament.
That’s why your vote has critical implications. Packing the Court is a huge issue, with the potential to throw the Republic into totalitarianism. The Democrats will do anything to win, which includes violating the Constitution, this we already know. Since Supreme Court decisions create precedent, this means that its decisions will carry the force and effect of law for decades, even generations. Vote for the Second Amendment, every time and without hesitation.
Theresa Inacker, an attorney and Second Amendment advocate, is a member of the US Supreme Court bar, the New Jersey delegate to The DC Project, and serves as the Communications Director for the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners.