The timing of the release of the report of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court could not be more suspect, coming a day after the Court heard arguments in the Mississippi abortion case. Clearly, its timing is designed to notify the Court that it, itself, is on trial as an institution and that it faces potentially dire consequences if it dares to overrule Roe v. Wade.
The report makes no specific recommendations so it could achieve unanimity among its 34 bipartisan members but does speculate that there is more support across party lines for term limits for justices than for any other proposal. The Constitution provides that the SCOTUS justices should hold their tenure “during good behavior”, implying lifelong tenure.
So why did the Commission choose to issue a report now — particularly since it concluded nothing — if not to intimidate the Justices as they consider the issue of abortion?
The idea of court packing has always been a tactic by Biden and the Democrats to intimidate the Court. During the 2020 election, the Democrats raised the issue in response to Trump’s appointment of Amy Coney Barrett, the president’s third conservative Court pick.
At the time, I speculated that it was likely trying to intimidate the Court so that the Democrats could get away with the shenanigans they were planning in the 2020 vote counting. Otherwise, why raise the clearly unpopular issue of Court packing in the first place?
Now this pattern of intimidation rears its head again as the Court nears a decision on the most controversial issue on its docket — abortion.
Biden and the Democrats are threatening to push term limits and Court packing if they don’t get their way.
The pressure is likely aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts, who led the Court in ducking 2020 election cases. Roberts has amply demonstrated that he puts the so-called interests of the Court before any political ideology, a fancy way of calling him a coward.
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