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January 31, 2006

My response to Alito's confirmation: Pack the Court!!!

-- by Thomas Leavitt

The solution to a Supreme Court dominated by radical conservatives, is to pack the court, ala FDR's attempt in the 1930's. As a compromise measure, perhaps the deal could be that the incoming Democratic Party President will make only two appointments (to restore balance), and that the court will return to nine justices over time as others resign or pass on.

In the context of a Republican dominated Senate willing to consider "the nuclear option", and an executive branch that has unilaterally arrogated the power to itself to ignore the stated will of the Congress and Judiciary in the name of national security, this seems a temperate and measured response to an attempt to impose a radical agenda on a badly divided nation by a President and party who have lost their mandate and credibility... and far preferable to other options that will remain unnamed, but that I am sure have passed through the back of more than a few people's minds.

Your thoughts?

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at January 31, 2006 11:14 AM

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Get those coat hangers out ladies.

Posted by: Godfry Daniel at January 31, 2006 12:05 PM

But, Thomas, if there were anyone in Washington capable of packing the court, they would have filibustered Alito and Roberts, and packing the court would be unnecessary.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 12:33 PM


Not gonna happen, even IF a Democrat takes the presidency (something I highly doubt, Democrats are viewed as poorly or poorer than Repubs) the historical forces are not there. FDR was wildly popular, had the Depression (which he worsened and extended with his incompetent socialist policie) to use as propaganda to attempt to pack the court. No, you're just going to have to get use to a moderate-right court. Now, if we can get the court to immediately reconsider Kelo and reverse that horrid decision before it wreaks too much havok in our society.

Posted by: Pericles at January 31, 2006 12:50 PM

Sure as hell the historical forces are going to be on our side... thanks to the combined effects of the ongoing war in Iraq, budgetary deficits, etc., by 2008, Bush will be lucky to escape Washington D.C. by an other means than being tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail - literally. The Republican members of Congress will be hunkered down in bunkers, waiting for the end, while mobs howl for their blood, and the rump of the Republican Party left in the House and Senate will be throughly cowed.

c.f. the collapse of the Progressive-Conservative party in Canada.

In such an environment, packing the court to restore balance will be an easy sell to an overwhemingly Democratic Congress where the Republicans can't even muster a third of the vote.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt at January 31, 2006 1:39 PM

Not gonna happen. The public recognizes that the Dems are just as corrupt as the Repubs (or more so, there have been convictions in Ohio and other places of people literally trying to steal the vote in '04) but the Repubs are the only party that is going to figure it out and reform itself.

Look, the Dem party is the party of corruption and vote theft, the public knows this and this is why they turn to the GOP even though they are dirty themselves.

Posted by: Pericles at January 31, 2006 2:00 PM

Pericles, what ARE you smoking? It's your Republicans who are the party of corruption and vote theft, and the public does know this. The only reason the public "turns" to the GOP is because the GOP has rigged (with the willing help of corrupt voting machine makers, i.e., Diebold, and a highly unConstitutional ruling by the Supreme Court in 2000) the results to favor the GOP.
If you cannot see how the REPUBLICAN Secretaries of State in Florida (in 2000) and in Ohio (in 2004) just happened to be prominent in the Bush campaigns in those states and somehow just happened to help the GOP take those states in the respective Presidential elections, then you truly are blind to reality.

Posted by: JosephW at January 31, 2006 2:19 PM

Courts change when the political atmospherics change and the balance of forces change. If the Republicans were to experience something like the collapse of the Progressive-Conservative party in Canada, incumbent justices would find their inner moderation. That's what FDR got.

Gotta keep working on making that collapse happen. Exterior events, especially China and oil prices, are pretty certain to help.

Posted by: janinsanfran at January 31, 2006 2:23 PM

The democrat party is imploding. Why on earth do you think the public has any more confidence in liberals today than they did in 2004? You hang your hat on being 'anti-whatever the GOP is' and that strategy simply hasn't worked.

Posted by: Sickofspin at January 31, 2006 2:57 PM

Interesting proposition, Thomas but I'm afraid it is not going to happen any time soon. Sometimes one wonders what is going to make Americans sit up and listen - are Bush & Co. going to get away with everything?

Posted by: Helga Fremlin at January 31, 2006 3:33 PM

Bush & Co. are doing what's best for America. It's you libs people need to worry about. You're a poison. You're party before country and that is dangerous.

Posted by: Sickofspin at January 31, 2006 4:47 PM

I've been thinking the same thing -- pack the court. To do that, we have to get Congress back. That means plenty of grass roots effort this year, plus forming alliances we've been overlooking. Like those disheartened and disgusted real conservatives. Like the genuine Christian churches sickened by what's being done in the name of Christianity. Like everybody fed up with graft and corruption on a scale rarely seen. And of course those who just plain don't like the idea of being spied on.

Like FDR said, there's nothing to fear but fear itself. The Republican party here in New York state has fallen into complete chaos. For the first time in what? Maybe 100 years, upstate New York, traditionally Republican, is likely to vote solidly Democratic. If it's happening here, it's got to be happening in other places. Even Republicans are getting fed up with what's been going on.

Posted by: MJ at January 31, 2006 6:09 PM

Here's an interesting article from the Boston Globe on the "switch in time that saved nine" in 1937. Perhaps just the threat of having the court packed might ensure some level of moderation (such as not overturning Roe v. Wade).

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt at January 31, 2006 6:36 PM

I find it ironic that the widow of the greatest civil rights leader in the history of this country passed away just hours before Samuel Alito was appointed to the SCOTUS. What immense symbolism this projects. Coretta Scott King dies the day before democracy dies in America. RIP Mrs. King. RIP Democracy. God help us all.

Posted by: Michael Prah at February 1, 2006 10:27 AM

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