With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, we’re likely to see another conservative justice appointed to the Supreme Court. That’ll be three justices nominated by President Donald Trump. If the most recent nominee is confirmed, that’s likely to create ramifications for decades to come. Even if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins in November, there will still be a rather conservative court there that’ll thwart any overreach.
At least, in time.
One of those likely overreaches would be gun control. Biden has made it clear that he doesn’t agree with the Court’s Heller decision. It’s not unlikely that he’d want to pick Supreme Court justices that agree with him. I mean, that’s kind of what presidents do.
The problem, of course, is that there aren’t any vacant seats. By then, at least a third of all justices on the bench would be new appointments made in the last four years, so there won’t be much opportunity to appoint many folks to the Supreme Court.
However, it looks like Democrats have a plan.
Democrats in of the House of Representatives will introduce a bill next week to limit the tenure of U.S. Supreme Court justices to 18 years from current lifetime appointments, in a bid to reduce partisan warring over vacancies and preserve the court’s legitimacy.
The new bill, seen by Reuters, would allow every president to nominate two justices per four-year term and comes amid heightened political tensions as Republican President Donald Trump prepares to announce his third pick for the Supreme Court after the death on Sept. 18 of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with just 40 days to go until the Nov. 3 election.
“It would save the country a lot of agony and help lower the temperature over fights for the court that go to the fault lines of cultural issues and is one of the primary things tearing at our social fabric,” said California U.S. Representative Ro Khanna, who plans to introduce the legislation on Tuesday, along with Representatives Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts and Don Beyer of Virginia.
What it would also do, almost immediately, is remove Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer from office. While Breyer’s replacement wouldn’t be appreciably different in terms of gun control support, losing Thomas would be a massive blow to gun rights.
And Democrats know it.
See, as things stand, there’s likely to be a 6-3 split in the Court. That’s huge.
While there’s some speculation that Chief Justice John Roberts has been the holdup on gun rights, a 6-3 split negates that holdup. We would start seeing gun rights cases taken up by the Court and likely striking down some of these ridiculous regulations.
Removing Thomas from the bench and appointing a liberal justice would reverse that situation, putting it back into a 5-4 split.
Further, you know good and well that many Democrats are convinced they’re a perpetual majority, so they figure they can weed out the conservative justices over time, most likely.
In fairness, I have to admit that this would likely play much better than the court packing scheme they’ve been pushing up until now. Even liberals are recognizing that isn’t a great idea.
The question is, how likely is this to happen?
Well, not very. For one thing, it’ll take a constitutional amendment to create a term limit. The Founding Fathers didn’t want the Supreme Court beholden to the whims of the public, so they got lifetime tenures. To change that, you need an amendment, which isn’t likely to happen no matter what this bill seems to want.
Further, I suspect that even if an amendment wasn’t needed, such a bill would get challenged and then it goes before the Supreme Court–the very court whose members would have to decide if they should be ousted after so many years. I’m not saying self-interested would overrule law, but…well…it wouldn’t be the first time. Especially if self-interest and law lined up.
And yeah, all of this is really just an effort to try and protect gun control and destroy gun rights. Oh, it’s one of several issues they’re pushing that they need the courts to back, but guns are up near the top of the list.
As things stand, Biden and company know his assault weapon ban won’t pass constitutional muster, so they want to change the courts so they can get their way none the less.