This isn't your garden-variety court packing. This is court packing on crack . . .
MSNBC regular and Nation correspondent Elie Mystal is one of those guests who you just know stays up devising the most outrageous, attention-grabbing, lines imaginable, in order to keep the invites coming.
On Sautrday's AM Joy, Mystal proposed that if Democrats win control of the process they should add up to . . . 20 additional Justices to the Supreme Court!
Even more outlandish than Mystal's proposal was his justification for it. Let's review his arguments about why there should be 20 new justices. First, he claimed the Senate would "get back to confirming judges based on qualifications as opposed to based on agendas."
As if Democrats wouldn't carefully screen nominees for strict adherence to liberal doctrine? Biden has already admitted that he would impose a "litmus test" of support of Roe v. Wade.on potential nominees.
Next, he insisted there would be "more moderate judges" and "more moderate opinions." See above: every new nominee would be certified 100%-pure liberal. And the six or seven conservatives on the Court would be completely swamped, their views rendered irrelevant. The most extreme positions and opinions would rule the day.
And finally, Mystal would be willing to let them name some of the new justices if Republicans were willing to "play ball." Thanks, Elie, but does anyone really believe that if Biden, Harris, and Chuck Schumer had the power to name 20 new justices, they'd offer any crumbs to Republicans?
Speaking of absurd, the segment began with a clip of Kamala Harris refusing to discuss court packing because we don't know "who is going to be the next president."
Guest host Tiffany Cross opened the discussion by saying that Republicans have "raised the spectre," i.e., employed a scare tactic, regarding possible Dem court packing. And on top of that, she lamented that the term itself "court-packing" was "a derogatory terms from the late 1930s, when FDR proposed expanding the Supreme Court to up to 15 justices."
But after Mystal concluded his pitch for a gigantic court packing, Cross agreed: "Yeah, we need it." So not a "spectre," but a real threat!
Here's the transcript.
MSNBC's AM Joy
10:35 am EDT
SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): I mean, I'm just, I’m sorry, but I can't have a conversation about court packing around something that has not even happened yet, which is who is going to be the next president, without dealing with what they’ve been doing for the last few years.
TIFFANY CROSS: For weeks, Republicans have accused Joe Biden and Kamala Harris of having these secret plans for quote unquote court packing, a derogatory terms from the late 1930s, when FDR proposed expanding the Supreme Court to up to 15 justices. And Republicans are raising the spectre that Dems could try something like that again.
ELIE MYSTAL: Yeah, what Republicans are doing is court-stacking. What Democrats are proposing is a little bit different. Look, I can make the vengeance argument for court expansion all day long. They denied Garland a hearing. They're putting Amy Coney Barrett through during an election. They've nominated predominantly white, predominantly male judges. I can make the vengeance argument. But I favor court expansion because of its reform possibilities, right? I want a better Supreme Court, not merely a Supreme Court where I get to win sometimes, right?
So, that's why I favor a Court expansion of up to 20 new Justices on the Supreme Court. People say, "oh, that's 29 justices. That's unyielding." No, it ain't. That's exactly how many judges the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals current has on it. 29 justices is not unyielding, it's diverse. The benefit of having more justices is that it fixes the problem that should be obvious to all of us by now. Our confirmation process is broken. It's broken because when one of these octenagarians dies, which is a thing that happens in the world, it represents an existential crisis to the party out of the power. Each is too important to our laws and our policy and our rights.
Each Supreme Court Justice is, frankly, too important to our laws, and our polity, and our rights. If we had 29 justices, each individual death would be less important, and it will allow us to get back to confirming judges based on qualifications as opposed to based on agendas.
MYSTAL: Court expansion allows us to take down the temperature, literally depoliticize the confirmation battle. It allows us to have more moderate judges, more moderate opinions, coming out of the courts.
MYSTAL: If we could do court packing, I would be happy to have Republicans — if Republicans want to play ball, I’d be happy to share some of the seats with them.
CROSS: Right, yeah. I mean, look --
MYSTAL: But they don’t want to fix it.
CROSS: -- yeah. I mean, you say court packing, court stacking, or judicial reform. Cause clearly after 218 conservative judges, we need it.