In an impassioned op-ed for the Fox News website, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) warned that 2020 Democratic presidential candidates were making a colossal mistake by entertaining the idea of packing the Supreme Court if they were to be elected. Rubio lamented the fact that American government institutions are facing record-lows in terms of public trust; he said that expanding the Supreme Court for the sole purpose of swaying the ideological bent of the court would forever ruin the legitimacy of the Judicial Branch.
“How does a divided nation overcome corrosive tribalism?” he wrote. “Ultimately, we need a restoration of family and community. In the meantime, we should do no further harm. To this end, I am proposing a constitutional amendment to prevent the next political and cultural flashpoint: the packing of the Supreme Court for partisan gains.
“Court packing is quickly becoming a litmus test for 2020 Democratic candidates as this ugly, winner-take-all rhetoric gains prominence in progressive circles,” he warned. “Our nation may not be on the brink of civil war or dissolution, but we are suffering a crisis of confidence and we cannot withstand further erosion of trust in one another and our institutions. The rhetoric used by some of my Democratic colleagues that suggests our institutions are increasingly unable to resolve modern society’s conflicts is dangerous.”
Rubio said that his constitutional amendment would define the number of Supreme Court justices as nine, though he conceded that there was nothing inherently “magical” about that number of seats.
“But there is something inherently good and important about preventing the further destabilization of essential institutions,” he argued.
Some of this “destabilization of essential institutions” stuff sounds like it comes right out of the Democrat playbook, but we’ll give Rubio the benefit of the doubt and assume he used that language exactly for that reason. Rubio isn’t always on the right side of an issue, but he does have some valuable skills when it comes to working across the aisle. Those skills have annoyed us on occasion – his membership in the Gang of Eight immigration bill comes to mind – but they can come in handy.
Here, his call for a constitutional amendment is actually brilliant in a way. If Democrats obstruct, it gives Trump and the Republicans something to chew on. After all, if they’re planning to start packing the court the moment they get in power, why shouldn’t Trump start doing it now? The president has vowed not to do that, but there’s no reason not to use that argument as leverage. Does anyone really want a situation where every president inflates the number of Supreme Court justices until such time that they get a majority? Are Democrats THAT desperate to preserve Roe v. Wade?
Well, some questions answer themselves.