A left-wing group led by a former Hillary Clinton aide is running digital ads targeting Democratic primary voters and calling for future court-packing as a litmus test issue in the 2020 primary. "A dark money group pushing for liberal justices is running digital ads exclusively in Iowa calling for packing the U.S. Supreme Court, a move that if undertaken during a Democratic presidency would shift the ideological makeup of the court," the Washington Free Beacon reports. The ads come on the heels of an op/ed penned by a former Iowa Attorney General warning that without stacking the Supreme Court with more liberal justices, abortion could be curtailed (a supermajority of Americans support curtailing legalized abortion). More from the WFB story:
Whether the group will expand the court-packing ad campaign is not currently known, as requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon to Demand Justice were not returned. Late Monday afternoon, Demand Justice also sent a message to their email subscribers outlining an even larger strategy, including the following points (emphasis original):
1) Change the law so the next Democratic president can add justices to the Court
2) Enact term limits to lower the stakes of each nomination
3) Impose a code of ethics (because FYI…the Supreme Court doesn’t have one)
The group has run other digital ads targeted mainly at early primary states. For example, previous Demand Justice ads targeted at Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have attempted to delegitimize Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by claiming he perjured himself during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Expect the hard Left to become increasingly vocal about the supposed urgency of their SCOTUS schemes in the coming weeks, after what appears likely -- based on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's hints -- to be a series of legal setbacks in closely-divided rulings. It's an interesting strategy to openly advocate court packing while the opposing party controls both the White House and Senate, but the goal is probably to make the idea seem more mainstream in advance of future Democratic electoral wins, after which the rules can be changed. The Left has consistently engaged in massive unilateral power grabs in the confirmation wars over recent decades, but this move would be by far the most radical. In my interview with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week, he said vows from some presidential candidates and groups like 'Demand Justice' along these lines should not be shrugged off; they're a "genuine threat" he said. Speaking of McConnell, the Senate this week confirmed six additional federal judges to the district-level bench, including a flurry of five Wednesday votes:
4. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #46 Thomas Barber to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of FL— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) June 11, 2019
5. Confirmation of Executive Calendar #49 Jean-Paul Boulee to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of GA
In an interesting development, a judicial nominee who was grilled by Sen. Josh Hawley over controversial comments has withdrawn from consideration:
Michael Bogren has withdrawn his district court nomination. That is a huge political victory for @HawleyMO, and a huge victory, in general, for religious liberty.— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) June 11, 2019
Bogren's withdrawal comes after his nomination had faced unusual public rebuke by three Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who accused him of comparing Catholic beliefs to those of the Ku Klux Klan and exhibiting personal "hostility" toward religious faith. GOP Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina have said they would vote against Bogren in committee, citing concerns about his views.
Here's the exchange that did Bogren in:
Finally, in case you missed it, I'll leave you with Dan McLaughlin's superb piece arguing against court-packing adventurism, which would be quite destructive: