Progressives in Washington have recently discussed and prepared legislation to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. This is very troubling and has drawn bipartisan condemnation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that she plans not to bring this to the floor of the House at the present time, but the New York Young Republican Club remains laser-focused on the tactics that progressives take as they seek to subvert the fundamental balance of our government.
President Biden has ordered a bipartisan commission on Supreme Court reform that will consider Supreme Court expansion among other debated topics such as visual recording of oral arguments. The New York Young Republican Club strongly denounces any attempt to add more seats to the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court in the land must be a forum outside the realm of the political divide that constitutes the foundation of the executive and legislative branches. It is not a branch to “further the interests” of Congress or the President as a rubber stamp on an agenda. It is a branch that maintains a necessary check and balance on the interests of the other branches to ensure that their actions remain within the framework of the Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton famously wrote in Federalist 78, when reflecting on the judicial branch of government, that “it may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.” The progressives promoting the idea that the Supreme Court (and all other levels of the judiciary) ought to further their radical ideas support a position contrary to this tenet.
Much of the energy fueling the progressive cause stems from their fear that past controversial Supreme Court decisions may be overturned now that six members of the Supreme Court have been appointed by Republican presidents. In many cases, these judges hold a restrained view of the judiciary or follow the originalist platform focusing on the intent of the framers and plain text of the Constitution. The potential of these jurists to invalidate prior error from Supreme Court justices generations ago has created a sense of insecurity, ripe to promote politicization. Civics and separation of powers of the branches have not taken hold with these progressives. One could argue it is rather regressive to reduce the Supreme Court to a theater of partisan banter.
Furthermore, even if the progressive court-packing plan stalls, it may still devastate the upcoming Supreme Court terms, as was the case when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt championed his own (failed) court-packing plan. Roosevelt’s threat induced Supreme Court justices to side with his administration on several New Deal disputes that would have likely been otherwise ruled unconstitutional. Institutionalist interests preempted Constitutionalist ones, and the nation suffered the consequences. The Supreme Court must be isolated from these rather extra-curricular issues and focus on interpreting the Constitution even if means rulings that defy supposed societal sentiment.
Progressives ought not let their basest urges take hold of themselves; they, like all Americans, should always aspire to further our shared national interest. The New York Young Republican Club stands firm in supporting the U.S. Supreme Court and calls for the end of this partisan rancor, which will have devastating consequences to our Republic.