The Corner

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Says It’s Time to Destroy the Supreme Court

Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before speaking at her Super Tuesday night rally in Detroit, Mich., March 3, 2020. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

In the Boston Globe, Elizabeth Warren writes that she now supports destroying the Supreme Court:

To restore balance and integrity to a broken institution, Congress must expand the Supreme Court by four or more seats.

Some oppose the idea of court expansion. They have argued that expansion is “court-packing,” that it would start a never-ending cycle of adding justices to the bench, and that it would undermine the court’s integrity.

They are wrong. And their concerns do not reflect the gravity of the Republican hijacking of the Supreme Court.

Why “four or more”? Because Elizabeth Warren likes three of the current justices and dislikes six of the current justices (one of whom has been there for more than thirty years; two of whom have been there for more than 15 years), and because adding four or more new justices would ensure that the people she likes would have a majority.

That’s it. That’s the case.

Warren’s apologists will explain that this is just a “messaging bill.” And they’ll be right. It is a messaging bill. And Warren’s message is that she’s a tyrant.

When this idea was last mooted — by FDR in 1937 — a Congress filled with supermajorities from the president’s own party chose emphatically to reject it. The Chair of the House Rules Committee described the plan as “the most terrible threat to constitutional government that has arisen in the entire history of the country,” while Joseph O’Mahoney, who never met a plank of the New Deal that he disliked, told a friend that it “smells of Machiavelli and Machiavelli stinks.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, proposed that the idea “violates every sacred tradition of American democracy” and “all precedents in the history of our government,” and runs “in direct violation of the spirit of the American Constitution.” Such a move, it submitted, would represent “an invasion of judicial power such as has never before been attempted in this country” and “make this government one of men rather than one of law.”

In conclusion, the Senate insisted that the measure “should be so emphatically rejected that its parallel will never again be presented to the free representatives of the free people of America.” By presenting its parallel, Senator Warren is telling us something about herself. We should listen.

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