Prominent Democrat Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois recently responded to reporters’ questions about statements from some members of his party that they would “pack the courts” should the Republicans succeed in confirming Amy Barrett as a Supreme Court justice. Durbin said that the Republicans had been packing the courts for years.
Durbin’s statement was deliberately misleading. Yes, the President and the Republican controlled Senate have been confirming conservative justices to the Federal Courts from the time Trump took office in January 2017. The confirmation process was made much easier by the change in Senate rules made by Harry Reid and the Democrats during Obama’s administration. Formerly, confirmation of Federal Judges required approval by 60 votes. After the change, only a simple majority was required. Other than that, there was nothing unusual about Federal court appointments under Trump. Every President nominates persons to fill court vacancies, and the Senate either confirms or disapproves. There has been no more court packing under Trump than under any other recent President..
The term “pack the courts” has a very specific meaning, and Senator Durbin is well aware of that fact. The term originated in 1937 when Franklin Roosevelt, frustrated with certain Supreme Court decisions, tried to add more members to the Supreme Court, increasing its size from nine to as many as fifteen, in an attempt to counterbalance the court’s more conservative justices. The attempt failed, but “pack the courts” has become part of our political jargon.
When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are asked if they would move to pack the Supreme Court if elected, they consistently refuse to answer.
Democrat senators are a devious and dishonest bunch.