Jimmy’s Washington Examiner Op-Ed | What two Democratic power grabs mean for the future of our government
Written by Jimmy at the Crossroads on April 27, 2021
Democrats are working diligently to bamboozle the public into supporting two distinct but related power grabs. Yet, history and the Constitution belie their duplicitous narratives about making Washington, D.C., the 51st state and packing the Supreme Court.
Last week, the House voted entirely along partisan lines to pass H.R. 51, a Democratic bill to make D.C. a state. The legislation, which now has 44 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate and zero Republican support, would undoubtedly deliver Democrats two new senators and an additional voting member in the House.
Many keep peddling the idea that D.C. has a bigger population than the state of Wyoming and, thus, D.C. should be its own state, too. Perhaps, in a vacuum, they might have a point. Why should hundreds of thousands of mainland people be denied voting representation in Congress?
The answer is twofold. First, Washington, D.C., is not like other regions. Unlike Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or Guam, D.C. is literally a city, not a territory or an ancient city-state. Historically, every state admitted to the Union was of that sort, an original colony, a territory, or part of a preexisting state. It’s also the federal “District of Columbia,” a very intentional title.
In Federalist No. 43, James Madison argued that the nation’s capital should entirely avoid dependence on any member state of the Union. Carving out the National Mall as a sort of Vatican within a new city-state is woefully insufficient to ensuring this important objective, and it is flagrantly unconstitutional, especially without a guaranteed repeal of the 23rd Amendment granting three Electoral College votes to D.C.
As others have suggested, if the goal really is to enfranchise more people, parts of D.C. could be returned to Maryland, similar to when Arlington and Alexandria were restored to Virginia. But it’s clearly not their intent. In reality, the Democrats’ proposal that D.C. become the 51st state is simply a means to shore up a majority and seize greater power.
Their disingenuous power grab doesn’t end there, however. Several Democrats, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, introduced the Judiciary Act of 2021 to add four new justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. While President Joe Biden hasn’t endorsed the bill, he has established a commission to examine court-packing.
If approved, this bill would be the first Judiciary Act since 1869 to change the size of the Supreme Court. At that time, membership was set to include the chief justice and eight associate justices. It’s stayed at nine ever since.
Biden himself once called packing the court a “bonehead idea.” The proposal was famously and summarily dismissed by Senate Democrats in 1937 as “an invasion of judicial power such as has never before been attempted in this country” when a Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, pressed it.
Today’s Democrats falsely cry “Republican hypocrisy!” because GOP senators declined to hold hearings for Obama nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 and subsequently confirmed Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. “That is court-packing!” they proclaim. “Our goal is simply to ‘rebalance’ the Supreme Court!”
Let’s be real. It is a president’s constitutional prerogative to nominate justices and the Senate’s right to decide how to handle it. The Senate made its decision on Garland. Then, then-President Donald Trump, who literally ran on appointing originalist justices, fulfilled his campaign promise.
Simply put, no justice will last on the bench for 152 years, the amount of time the court’s size has remained constant. There is no comparison whatsoever between court-packing and what Trump accomplished. Just ask two liberal court-packing opponents: the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and sitting Justice Stephen Breyer.
In truth, Democrats’ desire to pack the court has nothing to do with how the current justices got on the bench. Their goal is to change the makeup of the Supreme Court permanently. If successful, Biden would presumably get to appoint all four justices, securing a 7-6 liberal majority.
So, why would Democrats want to add such a large number to the bench? The answer comes right from FDR’s playbook. Roosevelt wanted to pack the court for the same reason Democrats do today: It was an impediment to his agenda, just as Democrats anticipate the current court will be. Today’s Democratic Party shares the same motivation; the only difference is that FDR was transparent about his reasoning.
Without question, congressional Democrats’ brazenly unconstitutional push for D.C. statehood, coupled with their anti-historical and antidemocratic desire to pack the Supreme Court, reveal a clear desire to seize greater power permanently.