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If the Court is Packed and New States Admitted

Packing the Supreme Court is legal, but that’s no reason at all to be indifferent to it. Julius Caesar packed the Roman Senate to augment his own power. Britannica tells us “that Caesar treated with scant respect the institutions of Rome…He increased the number of senators to 900 and introduced provincials into that body; but instead of making it a grand council, he treated it with studied contempt…A similar treatment was meted out to the ancient magistracies of the republic; and thus began the process by which the emperors undermined the self-respect of their subjects and eventually came to rule over a nation of slaves.”

Caesar became dictator for life in 45-44 B.C. Among his powers were sole right to make peace and war and sole control over spending out of the treasury. Our situation will not be much different if a single party comes into power for an indefinitely long period of time. That has been the fate of many countries in the 20th century. For a contemporary example in the making, look at Turkey. And, to the extent that the two major parties have acted as a bi-partisan mass, we have already had a big taste of what it’s like to lose the sovereignty that’s supposed to reside in “We the People”.

At our historical juncture, there is altogether too much disrespect for our foundational political institutions, traditions and arrangements, and this disrespect is lodged mainly among Democrats in the Democratic party, but not without a presence among Republicans. Disrespect of our extant institutions implies, at a minimum, disrespect for our traditions of liberty, if not hatred of them. Willingness to pack the Court is one sign of this disrespect. It smacks of Caesarism and overturning the republic. It smacks of one-party rule and one-party dictatorship. Loose talk of coups among highly-ranked military figures is a sign of disrespect, if not outright treason. Adding new states of D.C. and Puerto Rico is another such sign of the desire for one-party rule. Flaccid responses to mobs on the streets signify disrespect for law and order and the institutions required to maintain them. The COVID-19 episode has elicited dictatorial behavior, mainly among Democrats who are governors and mayors. These and public health officials have shown “scant respect” for our most central political institution of liberty. When Nancy Pelosi tears up Trump’s State of the Union while he’s still talking, that’s disrespect turning into animosity. Sad to say, her action and all the other signals of the same tenor suggest that many influential Democrats have become enemies of the republic and therefore of the people.

Divided government is a bulwark of liberty. Hooray for sheriffs. Hooray for self-governing individuals standing up for their rights. It was a democratic attorney general in Michigan who helped to naysay the diktats of Governor Whitmer.

On the record, top Democrats are to a small degree split over packing the Court. But far too many favor it or are ambivalent to its occurrence, and 61% of ordinary Democrats polled favor it.

Our divisions will not be overcome, freedoms made our foremost political aim, and liberty in the system of government preserved, as they all must be, by dictatorship of any kind, including that based upon packing the court and admitting new states.

It’s a tall order in our current state of hostile discourse to reconcile the foes of gun ownership with the Second Amendment, but it must be done. And the same for other highly polarizing issues. A long-term one-party dictatorship achieved by such means as packing the court and admitting new states means the end of a stable republic. These means are drastic methods that pass over from disrespect of the republic to its active destruction.

The supporters of these kinds of measures will sell them as reforms, as court reform, and as the extension of rights and justice to deserving people who are being discriminated against. Wolves in sheep’s clothing will use such oratory. Enemies of freedom will employ such arguments.

But even if Democrats secure control of both Congress and the Executive, there is no justifiable reason to pack the court or admit new states. A Democratic party sweep ensures the enactment of their benighted programs and policies. There is not a single one of their socialist aims that cannot be achieved by an electoral sweep. Packing the court and admitting new states are solely means of embedding one-party control for an indefinitely long time. The aim of such drastic measures is to destroy future competition against Democrats and being voted out of power. The aim of such measures is to undermine the republic in favor of a long-lived socialist/totalitarian hegemony of the Democratic party.

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1:47 pm on October 6, 2020