Dodge: Why Warnock Won't Rule Out Packing the Supreme Court

Posted: Dec 09, 2020 1:05 PM

During Sunday night's Georgia Senate debate, radical liberal Raphael Warnock refused to rule out packing the Supreme Court, repeating previous evasions on the question. Leftists have been openly discussing adding seats to SCOTUS during the Trump administration, threats that intensified after Justice Barrett joined the Court. President-elect Joe Biden has refused to reiterate his previously-stated absolute opposition to this dangerous power grab, punting on the issue by proposing a blue ribbon commission on judicial "reform." If Democrats win control of the White House, Senate and House, they'll have an opportunity to consider systemic changes -- and Chuck Schumer has vowed that a Democratic majority in the upper chamber would consider "all options." It's true that a 50/50 Senate would be far less of a threat to blow up the legislative filibuster, add new states (and therefore Senate seats) to the union, or pack the Court. But we've learned over and over again that when the chips are down, with an enormous amount of power at stake, Democratic leaders tend to get their way.

If Warnock and his running mate Jon Ossoff win in Georgia, the last line of defense against dramatic actions could end up being the say-so of Joe Manchin. Are conservatives really willing to rest all of their hopes on that? This non-answer makes pretty darn clear that Warnock would vote with his tribe on court-packing, if and when push comes to shove:

"Not focused on it" is not a "no," as multiple commentators observed:

It's not a "gimme question," though. Warnock understands that his committed base actively wants court packing, even though it's widely unpopular among the American electorate -- and he knows that if Democrats end up with the votes to pull it off, they very well could end up trying, so he doesn't want to box himself in with a commitment he doesn't necessarily intend to keep. The very fact that "no, I will not vote to add seats to the Supreme Court" is not a slam dunk answer is indicative of the political realities on the Left, which cannot be ignored. Warnock also side-stepped a direct question about whether he'd denounce Marxism and Socialism.

Ossoff, meanwhile, has said he's not a fan of court packing but has thus far declined to support a constitutional amendment barring it. Those fence-sitting responses underscore why maintaining a Republican-held Senate is so important, and why the stakes are so high in Georgia. I'll leave you with the latest ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee: