Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court consists of four leftist justices, three constitutionalists, and two right-leaning moderates. Socialists are terrified that if Ruth Bader Ginsberg—or another leftist justice—retires or dies before President Donald Trump leaves office, he or she may be replaced by another constitutionalist with potentially dire consequences for their radical agenda.
Socialist achievements, such as affirmative action, “hate speech” legislation, gun control measures, and restrictions on religious liberties, could all be overturned by a constitutionalist majority in the Supreme Court.
So, the socialists have hatched a plan.
A new group has been formed called Pack the Courts that aims to pressure the next Democratic president to expand the Supreme Court beyond its current nine justices. If the next president can expand the court to 11 or 13 justices, adding all leftists, they can then outvote the constitutionalist minority and the socialist agenda will be back on track.
According to Alex Thompson of Politico:
“[Pack the Courts] has raised more than $500,000 to jump-start its effort and has partnered with Demand Justice, a progressive group founded in 2018 that is trying to match Republicans’ organizing efforts around the judiciary.
“‘At Demand Justice, we strongly believe that reforming the court—especially by expanding it—is the cornerstone for re-building American democracy,’ said Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice and a former Hillary Clinton press secretary. ‘The Kavanaugh court is a partisan operation, and democracy simply cannot function when stolen courts operate as political shills. We are thrilled to work in coalition with the team at Pack the Courts to undo the politicization of the judiciary.’”
Pack the Courts is led by two highly influential activists: Executive Director Aaron Belkin, a political science professor at San Francisco State University, and Sean McElwee, the organization’s director of research and polling.
Belkin, who also heads the Palm Center, a think tank based at the University of California–Santa Barbara, designed and implemented much of the campaign responsible for helping end the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in 2011.
According to Belkin’s website, Harvard law professor Janet Halley said of Belkin, “Probably no single person deserves more credit for the repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’” Additionally, Obama-era Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Anthony Kurta credited Belkin’s Palm Center as one of the organizations “most responsible for helping the military lift its ban on transgender personnel.”
Tom Ammiano, government relations adviser at the Palm Center, also deserves a little credit for the center’s successes. Ammiano has served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco School Board, and in the California Assembly. In the 1990s, Ammiano worked closely with the San Francisco Communist Party and also with the Party spin-off Committees of Correspondence. In December 1993, Ammiano appeared on the bill of the local annual socialist fundraising event, the Bolshevik Café.
New York-based McElwee is an out and proud socialist. He is credited for popularizing the “Abolish ICE” slogan picked up by many leading Democrats last year. He convenes a weekly socialist happy hour in New York, where presidential candidates mingle with radical activists. McElwee is intensely partisan and brutally ideological.
He recently wrote in a tweet:
“There was a recent study that suggested Republicans were so effective at murdering poor people through policy that it meaningfully affected election outcomes. That’s the level of raw political brutality the GOP operates on. The sooner progressives internalize this, the better. …
“[expletive] your enemies, help your friends. that’s the sum of politics. there is nothing else.”
McElwee is very close to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and their famous congresswoman, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.). Through his company, Data for Progress, McElwee had substantial input into Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, the unabashedly socialist plan for a government takeover of, well, just about everything.
Buoyed by Ocasio-Cortez’s shock defeat of Democrat incumbent Joe Crowley, McElwee listed vulnerable “moderate” Democrats who could be challenged in 2020, “including Kathleen Rice of Long Island, Jim Cooper of Nashville, and Dutch Ruppersberger of Baltimore.”
Pack the Courts has retained Means of Production, a digital marketing firm, to produce its online content. The company became famous producing ads for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign. All three Means of Production founders—Naomi Burton, Natasha Fernandez-Silber, and Nick Hayes—are Detroit DSA members, and most of their clients are DSA activists or supporters.
Well-known comedian, social commentator, and TV host W. Kamau Bell is on Pack the Courts’ advisory board. Until recently, Bell served on the advisory board of Bay Area nonprofit Race Forward, alongside Richard Healey of the DSA, Freedom Road Socialist Organization affiliate Scot Nakagawa, and Andy Shallal of the ultra-left Institute for Policy Studies.
Pack the Courts is clearly a socialist organization. Its leaders have proven organizational and fund-raising abilities. They are closely aligned to the country’s largest Marxist group, the 55,000-strong DSA, which has several allies in Congress.
There is a precedent for Pack the Courts’ plan. In the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, frustrated by a noncompliant Supreme Court, tried a similar plan to push through his leftist legislative agenda.
According to the History Channel’s website This Day in History:
“On February 5, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt announces a controversial plan to expand the Supreme Court to as many as 15 judges, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics immediately charged that Roosevelt was trying to ‘pack’ the court and thus neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his New Deal. …
“Flushed with his landslide reelection in 1936, President Roosevelt issued a proposal in February 1937 to provide retirement at full pay for all members of the court over 70. If a justice refused to retire, an ‘assistant’ with full voting rights was to be appointed, thus ensuring Roosevelt a liberal majority. Most Republicans and many Democrats in Congress opposed the so-called ‘court-packing’ plan.”
After two justices moved to the left, Roosevelt’s plan became redundant and failed in the U.S. Senate by 70 votes to 22. Not long after, Roosevelt was able to nominate his own Supreme Court justice, and by 1942, seven of the nine justices were Roosevelt appointees.
Those Roosevelt appointees were the beginning of a near-permanent leftist Supreme Court majority, which has been steadily eroding the United States’ constitutional liberties ever since.
Now, after 70 years of leftist majorities, the Supreme Court has started to move back in a more constitutional direction—which is why socialists want to resurrect Roosevelt’s recipe for judicial tyranny.
We can’t hope that any Democratic senators would oppose their president over such a plan. It would almost certainly succeed if the Democrats take the White House and the Senate in 2020.
Liberty in America teeters on the edge of a very high cliff. We must do everything we can to claw our freedoms back to safer ground.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.