One clear message coming out of a Thursday news conference with congressional Democrats is that their court-packing plan is really about the future of how elections are conducted in the United States.
House Democrats passed HR 1, the For the People Act, with no Republican support last month. The legislation is now before the Senate for consideration.
HR 1 would do away with voter ID laws in 34 states and mandate same-day voter registration, ballot harvesting, automatic voter registration and absentee ballots being accepted up to 10 days after Election Day. It would also restore felons’ right to vote, among other provisions.
Basically, it federally mandates all the voting laws that have helped turn California into essentially a one-party state.
At Thursday’s news conference, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a sponsor of the Judiciary Act of 2021, listed voting rights as a reason why the Supreme Court should be expanded from nine justices to 13.
“The United States Supreme Court is broken, it is out of balance and it needs to be fixed,” he asserted.
“The harm that that court is going to be able to do across a whole range of issues — voting rights, women’s right to choose, environmental issues, issue after issue — are now in jeopardy,” the senator said.
Markey further stipulated that to save American democracy, “we must expand the court, and we must abolish the filibuster to do it.”
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York went into much greater detail.
“I wish we didn’t have a far-right Supreme Court majority that is hostile to democracy itself, but here we are,” Jones said. “And the fact is if we want to save our democracy, we must act before it is too late by restoring balance to the Supreme Court.”
The congressman made references to voter integrity measures being passed in states like Georgia and Texas, characterizing them as a revival of Jim Crow.
“Our democracy faces its greatest test since Jim Crow. From the insurrection at the Capitol to the racist voter suppression being attempted all throughout the United States of America, the far right is at war with our democracy,” Jones said.
HR 1 would override key aspects of Georgia’s and presumably other states’ election integrity laws.
“The Roberts court has been working to dismantle our democracy for years,” Jones contended.
“One decision at a time, the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court has unraveled the greatest achievements of the civil rights movement to produce a government that does not look like, understand or even pretend to represent the American people.”
Jones released an online ad making some of the same points he made at Thursday’s news conference.
Our democracy is in crisis.
If we’re going to save it, we must #ExpandTheCourt.
Today, our movement begins. pic.twitter.com/mti1ZG6Enf
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) April 15, 2021
First, it’s not the job of Supreme Court justices to represent the people, but instead to uphold the rule of law under the Constitution.
Additionally, it’s strange that Jones would make this argument about dismantling democracy even as the Democratic Party gained control of the presidency and Senate and held the House of Representatives in the 2020 election.
And to the consternation of conservatives, the “far-right” Supreme Court rejected (without hearings) legal challenges concerning how states like Pennsylvania and Michigan failed to follow their own election laws last fall.
Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution grant the states power to conduct elections.
Further, as Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has pointed out, when the federal government has sought to make major changes to nationwide election laws in the past, it has done so through the amendment process.
HR 1 is clearly unconstitutional, but with a Biden-packed Supreme Court, a majority of justices might not see it that way.
The Democrats have tipped their hand. Packing the Supreme Court is not about “saving our democracy.” Rather, it’s about removing any check on their political power and implementing HR 1.
Via Patriot Project