Despite pundits’ reactions to the contrary, the new Supreme Court vacancy will improve Republican odds keeping the Senate and the presidency. The Democrats are showing voters, like never before, what is at stake in this election.
Conservatives will be driven to vote for Trump if they fear giving Joe Biden the chance to appoint Ginsburg’s successor. And if Trump successfully appoints her replacement before the election, that specific reason for voting will does indeed vanish.
But now, Democrats have made a new threat that is sure to get Republicans to the polls. Some are openly pledging that, if the vacancy is filled, they will end the filibuster and pack the nation's federal courts. Not only would this undo the Supreme Court Trump’s appointment to the court, but it will usher in other radical changes.
Biden, Kamala Harris, and Senate Democrats had already been promising to make fundamental changes that will keep Democrats in power forever. But each time that Democrats double down on their commitment to abolish the filibuster, they increase the chances that Trump will win.
Filibusters allow a lone senator to hold the floor for as long as he wants, thereby preventing legislation from being passed. A vote to end a filibuster requires 60 or more votes.
No party has 60 seats in the Senate, so legislation requires some bipartisan support. Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once called the Senate “the cooling saucer for our politics… that can show the nation bipartisanship, compromise, and progress.”
If Democrats eliminate the filibuster, simple party-line majorities will be able to pass bills. And if the same party controls both the House and Senate, legislation will be able to zip right through Congress.
If Biden wins, there’s a very good chance that he will pull the Senate with him. That’s especially true because in the event of a 50-50 Senate tie, as betting markets now indicate to be the most likely outcome, the vice president will have the tie-breaking vote.
The changes that Democrats would bring could produce a very different country. Let’s just look at their top priorities.
Biden promises that on his first day in office, he will present legislation that would give citizenship to all of the estimated over 22 million undocumented immigrants in the country. The promises of free health insurance and citizenship, not to mention lack of border enforcement, would likely encourage even more illegal immigration into the country.
The Democratic Party Platform promises to “stand united against” state photo I.D. requirements for voting and clean up registration rolls. They also propose to make the United States the only country in the world to mandate mail-in balloting. Democrats have also thrown their support behind “ballot harvesting,” which reduces the security of ballots by entrusting their delivery to partisan campaign employees.
Democrats promise statehood to Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, thereby changing the Senate’s makeup by adding four reliably Democratic seats. They could also pass campaign finance laws that make fundraising extremely difficult for challengers. They could even impose a new “fairness doctrine” that would eliminate conservative talk radio.
President Trump’s 53 federal circuit court confirmations have only just brought the courts into rough balance, with Democratic appointees still controlling circuit courts for 24 states, plus the powerful D.C. circuit court. Democrats could quickly undo this by passing legislation that expands the number of seats on the courts, ensuring massive judicial majorities on every circuit.
Those judicial majorities would ensure that all of the Democrats’ new laws pass constitutional muster. It would also let Democrats control congressional redistricting, to increase their stranglehold on state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Democrats’ platform this year includes gun bans and other firearms regulations such as licensing and registration. This would quickly pass. Free speech would no longer be free, as “hateful” speech would be criminalized.
The Biden administration would also establish a national commission to recommend what reparations be given to blacks for enduring slavery. And, of course, they will provide federal funding for abortions.
Biden has promised teachers’ unions to end competition from charter schools and voucher programs such as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program.
The protestors outside Senators’ houses threatening to stab senators and the other threats of violence will make it clear which one is on the side of violence and which one on the side of law and order.
By bringing the issue of court packing to the fore, the Supreme Court vacancy is alerting voters to the banana republic craziness that will ensue in the event of Democrats sweeping the election. Biden and the Democrats are making it clear that, if they win, the country will become unrecognizable.
Lott is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench.”