Democrats were exceptionally displeased with the Supreme Court’s final two decisions of the 2020-2021 term announced yesterday, and have renewed their calls to pack the U.S. high court.
Packing the Supreme Court has long been a controversial issue, one that President Joe Biden opposed in his Senate days but refused to answer for on the campaign trail.
While the Supreme Court is to remain an unbiased entity, independent of partisan politics, it seems Democrats aren’t opposed to tearing down the fundamentals of our democracy to achieve their goals.
The first SCOTUS decision in question from Thursday’s ruling was a challenge to Arizona’s election laws and a ban on ballot harvesting. Arizona’s voter laws were scrutinized during the 2020 presidential election as Americans feared the integrity of the voting systems.
In their ruling of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, SCOTUS upheld Arizona voting laws which ignited cries from the left of voter suppression.
“Today’s ruling is another blow to voting rights. We have no time to waste to protect the right to vote. We must abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). “And we must expand the Supreme Court,”
“And still some people have the nerve to question whether Court expansion is necessary. Expand the damn court” Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) demanded in response to the outcome.
And still some people have the nerve to question whether Court expansion is necessary. https://t.co/rHoC4xS76U
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) July 1, 2021
Congresswoman and ‘Squad’ member, Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) called the decision yet another attack on our voting rights. She called on Congress to act, “Abolish the Jim Crow filibuster. Pass the For The People Act. Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Expand the court. Save our democracy”.
Today’s SCOTUS decision is yet another attack on our voting rights.
Congress must act.
Abolish the Jim Crow filibuster.
Pass the For The People Act.
Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Expand the court.
Save our democracy. https://t.co/l14wWIbVKH
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) July 1, 2021
President Biden issued a statement in response to the Arizona ruling where he employed harsh criticism of the court, an uncommon move for a sitting president.
“I am deeply disappointed in today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court that undercuts the Voting Rights Act,” Biden said. “In a span of just eight years, the Court has now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – a law that took years of struggle and strife to secure.”
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court undercuts voting rights in this country — and makes it all the more crucial to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and expand voting protections.
Our democracy depends on it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 1, 2021
Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta was the second case the court ruled on. It required nonprofits to disclose their largest donors to the state government to enforce fundraising and donation rules. The Supreme Court overturned the measure saying that it restricted free speech.
“The decision in Americans for Prosperity further harms our democracy by allowing the suffocation of the airwaves caused by big dark special interest money,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated. “This torrent of dark money silences the voices of voters and prevents passage of commonsense, bipartisan and popular legislation – from gun violence prevention to climate action to LGBTQ equality. It is fundamentally anti-democratic, and it cannot go unanswered.”
The court, for their part, defended their decisions.
“Having to identify one’s own polling place and then travel there to vote does not exceed the ‘usual burdens of voting,'” Justice Samuel Alito maintained in his opinion on the Arizona decision.
Following precedent, “Our cases have said that disclosure requirements can chill association'[e]ven if there [is] no disclosure to the general public. While assurances of confidentiality may reduce the burden of disclosure to the State, they do not eliminate it, ” Chief Justice John Roberts explained in the majority opinion on the California case.
Republicans celebrated Thursday’s SCOTUS decisions as victories for election integrity and the First Amendment.
“This is an obvious victory for the First Amendment and for free speech. California’s anti-speech policies were un-American hogwash, and everyone from conservatives … to liberals…came together to oppose this bullying and intimidation,” Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) said, applauding the Supreme Court decision in California.
“I was proud to join my colleagues in an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s election integrity measures, and I’m glad the Supreme Court has ruled in favor,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) responded.
If Democrats were successful in packing the Supreme Court, it would ensure that the highest court in the land functioned as an arbiter for their agenda.
Outraged leftists took to Twitter to share their calls to placate the freedoms and fundamentals rooted in the American justice system.
The Supreme Court is aiding and abetting a cynical and self-interested attack on American democracy.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) July 1, 2021
Can Democrats read this decision and tell me HOW THE HELL either the For the People Act, the John Lewis Act, or anything else, PASSES CONSTITUTIONAL MUSTER IN FRONT OF THIS SCOTUS?
HOW. HOW??? EXPAND THE COURT OR YOU GET NOTHING
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) July 1, 2021
Expand the court. End the filibuster. Save democracy.
— Trish Zornio (@trish_zornio) July 1, 2021
The debate over the constitutionality of packing the court remains, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from plowing forward.
Biden created a commission to study whether or not it is possible to add seats to the court via an executive order he unveiled in April.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-NY.), Hank Johnson (D-GA.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) proposed a bill in April that would expand the SCOTUS from nine seats to 13 in an effort to “restore balance to the Supreme Court as part of critically necessary democracy reform.”
In June, Cruz argued his amendment to prevent court-packing.
Sen. Ted Cruz on his amendment to prevent court packing:
“Packing the Supreme Court is a dangerous development. It’s what we’ve seen happen in dictatorial countries… [Democrats] are talking about expanding the Supreme Court … essentially to rig the system…” pic.twitter.com/7NCwcYGqzC
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 24, 2021
Sen. Ted Cruz fact checks Democrats’ Orwellian redefining of the meaning of “court packing”: “It does violence to the English language to call filling vacancies on the Supreme Court ‘packing the court.’ That’s not what packing the court means.” pic.twitter.com/cAuOAvfjT2
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 24, 2021
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