‘Constitutionally absurd’: Jonathan Turley cuts off Dem narrative that GOP is ‘packing’ Supreme Court by filling vacancy

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George Washington University law Prof. Jonathan Turley destroyed an emerging Democrat narrative that by filling the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, Republicans were ‘packing’ the Supreme Court as confirmation hearings began Monday for her replacement, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“Sen. Chris Coons just told Chris Wallace on Fox that the Senate confirming Amy Coney Barrett ‘constitutes court-packing.’ That statement is constitutionally unintelligible,” Turley, a renowned, widely recognized expert on the nation’s founding document, wrote on Twitter Sunday.

“Ginsburg herself said in 2016 that the Senate had to do its ‘job’ and vote on such nominations because ‘there’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year,’” Turley added.

Ginsburg was referring to then-President Obama’s third high court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. The Republican-led Senate, however, refused to consider him because, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the time, the chamber and the White House were led by two competing political parties.

“What concerns me is that Democrats are rationalizing a destructive act of retaliation if they retake the White House and Senate. Ginsburg also denounced court packing as something that would decimate the Court and its legitimacy,” Turley said in another tweet.

“It is logically and constitutionally absurd to call the filing of a vacancy on the Court as a form of ‘court packing.’ It does not increase the size of the Court and is done in complete conformity with the constitutional framework,” he added.

“To say that filing a vacancy on the Supreme Court is ‘court packing’ is like saying that a ‘Hail Mary’ pass at the end of a football game is ‘intentional grounding.’ The Constitution expressly allows for such for a nomination and confirmation,” Turley wrote.

The issue has become relevant because left-wing extremists in the Democratic Party and in the establishment media have suggested expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court and “packing” it with politically aligned justices in response to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Comey so close to an election, as well as the GOP-led Senate’s likely confirmation of her.

Barrett will be the third Supreme Court justice behind Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh nominated by President Trump to sit on the high court if she’s confirmed.

The issue of packing has also become relevant because neither candidate on the Democratic presidential ticket — Joe Biden, the nominee, or his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris — will say definitively whether they support or oppose it.

Over the weekend, Biden actually told reporters that voters did not have a right to know his position before the election, a statement that was even panned by Democrat-friendly CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday.

“Of course, voters deserve an answer on his position on every issue,” Tapper told Biden campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield during a “State of the Union” segment in which he earlier hit Biden for saying the effort to confirm Barrett is “not constitutional.”

Tapper also played clips of Biden in 1983 and again during the Democratic primary debates earlier this year saying he opposed court-packing.

Biden called it “a bonehead idea” during a Senate hearing 27 years ago in response to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempts to expand the court beyond its current nine justices in order to win judicial approval of controversial economic policies he enacted during the 1930s-era Great Depression.

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Jon Dougherty

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