The Democrat Strategy Against Judge Barret’s Nomination

When confirmation hearings for Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to a seat on the US Supreme Court commenced on Monday, October 12, Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee focused on her strong legal qualifications for the post, while Democrats condemned the confirmation process as inappropriate during the final weeks of a presidential election campaign. They argued that the vacancy created by the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the age of 87 last month should be filled by the next president.

Barrett’s confirmation is virtually inevitable, since 51 out of 53 Senate Republicans, enough to win the confirmation vote, have already gone on record in favor of her nomination, as has every Republican who together make up a majority on the committee. Barring some unexpectedly damaging revelation about Barrett during the hearings, Democrats cannot prevent Senate Republicans from mustering a majority vote to confirm her nomination before Election Day.

As committee chairman Lindsey Graham explained at the start of the hearings, “this is probably not about persuading each other. All Republicans will vote yes, all Democrats will vote no.” Graham insisted that it was his committee’s duty to address Barrett’s nomination immediately, regardless of the Covid pandemic. “We do have a country that needs to move forward safely, and there are millions of Americans, cops, waitresses, nurses, you name it, going to work today to do their job,” Graham said. “We’re going to work in the Senate to do our job.”

The South Carolina Republican noted that the timing of the confirmation was determined by “the tragic loss of a great woman [Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg]. We’re going to fill that vacancy with another great woman [Judge Amy Coney Barrett],” but warned “this is going to be a long, contentious week.”

Realizing that they cannot stop Barrett’s confirmation, Democrats hope to use the hearings as an opportunity to make campaign points against Trump and the Republicans ahead of the November 3 election. They say that it is “unfair” to confirm a new Supreme Court justice, increasing the majority of conservatives to 6-3, even though the Constitution clearly authorizes the president and the Senate to do so. Democrats also accuse Republicans of rushing Barrett’s confirmation to enable her to rule against Obamacare in a case that the high court is scheduled to hear on November 10. However, most legal experts don’t believe the case will result in the court overturning Obamacare, regardless of how it rules on the narrow legal point in question.

BARRETT OBJECTS TO JUSTICE ROBERTS’ 2012 OBAMACARE RULING

Democrats have cited Barrett’s criticism of the controversial opinion handed down by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012 upholding the constitutionality of the Obamacare law. In 2017, Barrett wrote that Roberts had “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute. He construed the penalty imposed on those without health insurance as a tax, which permitted him to sustain the statute as a valid exercise of the taxing power; had he treated the payment as the statute did—as a penalty—he would have had to invalidate the statute as lying beyond Congress’s commerce power.”

Democrats also warned that if Barrett provides the deciding vote to strike down Obamacare in the current case before the court, it would also mean the end of Obamacare’s most popular feature—its guarantee of insurance coverage for those pre-existing conditions—ignoring the promise made by President Trump and other Republicans to maintain that guarantee even if the rest of Obamacare is overturned.

DEMOCRAT STRATEGY

Weeks before the confirmation hearings started, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden in Washington to agree on a united strategy, making the alleged threat to Obamacare the central theme of their attack on Barrett’s nomination.

“This is the No. 1 issue that the American people care about. And it is at direct stake with this Supreme Court nominee given her past statements, given the balance on the court,” Schumer said in an interview with Politico. “Early on, I got together with Pelosi and Biden and that’s what we said: ‘We’re going to focus on that above all.’”

Democrat Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, who is a member of the Judiciary committee, said that his assignment from party leaders is to explain to the public what Barrett’s confirmation would really mean. “A vote for Judge Barrett is a vote for repealing the ACA [Obamacare]. And a vote for a conservative activist judge that will revisit, reconsider and repeal long-standing precedent,” Coons added.

DEMOCRATS WON’T REPEAT THEIR KAVANAUGH MISTAKE

Schumer also told reporters that Democrats will not repeat the mistakes they made during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation hearing by attacking his personal character with unproven allegations, a tactic which repulsed many voters at the time. That is why Democrats will refrain from criticizing Barrett’s religious beliefs and her family in the current hearings.

“We’re focused on the issues and the merits. And on the illegitimacy of the process. We are not focusing on the personal characteristics of Amy Coney Barrett. Zero,” Schumer said. “The Republicans are so afraid of the issues of healthcare and women’s. . . rights. . . they’re trying to create a diversion.”

Senate Democrats claim that they have been preparing for the possibility of a Supreme Court confirmation fight before the November election since May, shortly after Justice Ginsburg was hospitalized again for treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, which ultimately took her life last month. But their agreement to emphasize the healthcare issue during the hearings is a poor substitute for the votes they lack to block Barrett’s confirmation in committee and on the floor of the Senate.

Schumer admitted as much when he told Politico, “This is our job to push this as hard we can, knowing it’s not an easy fight, knowing that Trump is a vindictive guy and anyone who goes against him has suffered.”

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who is a member of the Judiciary committee, derided the Democrats’ “far-fetched argument that somehow this [confirmation] is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy against the ACA.”

BARRETT’S CREDENTIALS HAVE NOT BEEN CHALLENGED

During their opening statements on the first day of Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Democrats totally ignored her impressive credentials for the post. Even a majority of the committee of the liberal American Bar Association, which rates all nominees to the federal bench, deemed her to be “well qualified” to assume Ginsberg’s seat on the Supreme Court.

Barrett was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the eldest of seven children in a devout Catholic family. Her father worked as a lawyer for the Shell Oil Company and her mother was a high school French teacher. After graduating Rhodes College with magna cum laude honors, Barrett was offered a full tuition scholarship at Notre Dame’s law school, which specialized in producing a “different kind of lawyer” who would explore the “moral and ethical dimensions of the law.”

During law school, Barrett was won over by the conservative legal approach known as originalism (or textualism). It interprets the Constitution, as well as laws passed by Congress, according to the plain meaning of their words when they were originally passed, and rejects any subsequent judicial reinterpretations.

After graduating first in her class from Notre Dame in 1997, Barrett spent two years working as a law clerk for federal judges. Her powers of legal analysis and clear writing ability soon attracted the attention of the late Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, the court’s foremost conservative jurist and the leading proponent of originalism. After clerking for Scalia for a year, from 1998-1999, Barrett went to work for a DC law firm, and returned to the Notre Dame law school as a member of the faculty in 2003.

QUALITIES OF A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE JUSTICE

Barrett’s sterling legal qualifications first came to the attention of Trump’s White House counsel, Donald McGahn II, before Trump’s inauguration, while she was teaching at Notre Dame. Other conservative legal advocates also recognized in Barrett the qualities which could make her into a new kind of conservative judicial candidate, a deeply religious woman from the heartland of America who combines intelligence and legal expertise with a strong commitment to traditional social values.

Just two weeks after the Senate confirmed her as a judge on the Seventh Circuit Court in Chicago, in October 2017, McGahn told the members of the conservative Federalist Society—which has vetted all of Trump’s judicial nominations—that he was adding Barrett’s name to the list of potential nominees for the next opening on the Supreme Court bench.

Shortly thereafter, when Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement, Barrett was the runner-up for the post, just behind Judge Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump reportedly told his associates at the time that, “I’m saving her [Barrett as a replacement] for [Justice] Ginsburg.”

While serving on the Seventh District Court, Judge Barrett and her family have maintained their home in South Bend, Indiana, where she has set up judicial chambers at a local federal office building. On days when she must be present to preside over district court hearings, she drives her gray minivan for about 90 minutes into Chicago.

BARRETT’S FAITH WAS AN ISSUE IN 2017

On the first day of hearings last week, Democrats carefully avoided any mention of her religious faith, for which Barrett was criticized during her 2017 confirmation hearings for the federal district court in Chicago. At the time, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein created a storm of controversy when she told Barrett, “You have a long history of believing that your religious beliefs should prevail… The dogma lives loudly within you.”

Feinstein avoided that specific line of attack in her opening statement last Monday as the ranking Democrat on the committee, but continued to warn against Barrett’s confirmation. “The stakes are extraordinarily high for the American people both in the short term and for decades to come,” Feinstein said. “Most importantly, healthcare coverage for millions of Americans is at stake.”

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley responded quickly to Feinstein’s charge. “That’s outrageous,” he declared. “Democrats and their leftist allies have also shown that there is no low that they won’t stoop to in their crusade to tarnish a nominee,” he added, recalling Feinstein’s attack three years ago on Barrett’s lifelong dedication to her Catholic faith. Grassley also noted that Judge Barrett, as the mother of seven children, including a boy with Down Syndrome, “clearly understands the importance of healthcare.”

Later in the hearing, Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said that Barrett’s critics have implied “that because you’re a devout Christian that you’re somehow unfit for public service.” If you listen to Democrats, you’d think Judge Barrett “will be on a mission from G-d to deny healthcare coverage for preexisting conditions for every American,” Kennedy added, sarcastically.

DEMOCRATS ATTACKING THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS

In comments on Twitter, Senator Kennedy said Democrats are trying to delegitimize the confirmation process in a bid to justify packing the Supreme Court next year by adding liberal judges appointed by Joe Biden if he wins the presidency. “Why? Because Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to. Mr. Biden is the nominee, but Bernie Sanders is the new head of the Democratic Party,” Kennedy tweeted.

Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst said Judge Barrett’s political opponents want to paint her as “a TV or cartoon version of a religious radical. They are attacking you, as a mom and a woman of faith, because they cannot attack your qualifications.”

The objections of Republican senators to critics of Barrett’s religious beliefs were based upon the clause in Article VI of the US Constitution which declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

BARRETT A CRITIC OF ROE V. WADE

Barrett’s liberal critics also cite her public criticism of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on two occasions, while she was a law professor at Notre Dame University, in 2006 and 2013. In a 2013 article she wrote for the Texas Law Review on the doctrine of stare decisis, respecting the precedent set by prior Supreme Court decisions, Barrett cited seven Supreme Court rulings which she called “superprecedents,” because they enjoy such widespread support from jurists, politicians and the public at large. But even though the Roe v. Wade decision was confirmed by the high court as recently as 1992, Barrett excluded it from her list of superprecents.

She argues that Roe v. Wade could still be challenged and reversed by the Supreme Court, because its “pro-choice” conclusion has not gained universal acceptance. The decision is still fiercely contested by many conservative legal scholars and politicians, as well as “pro-life” Catholics and Evangelical Christians. Barrett’s “pro-choice” critics cite the article as proof that as a Supreme Court justice, she is likely to join with other members of the conservative majority on the court in an effort to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision at the first opportunity, consistent with the hopes of her “pro-life” supporters.

However, in a talk she delivered at Jacksonville University in 2016, Barrett expressed her doubts that the Roe v. Wade ruling would ever be totally overturned.

SEPARATING RELIGION FROM A JUDGE’S RULINGS

In her 2017 confirmation hearing for her judgeship on the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Barrett declared that “it is never, ever permissible for that judge to follow their personal convictions in the decision of a case rather than what the law requires. She also said that if the situation ever arose where her religious convictions as a Catholic raised a “conscientious objection to the law,” she would recuse herself and “never impose my own personal convictions upon the law.”

On the second day of hearings for her seat on the Supreme Court post, Senator Graham asked Judge Barrett whether she would agree to Democrat demands that she recuse herself from ruling on the ACA case currently before the court.

She replied, “Well, senator, recusal itself is a legal issue. There’s a statute, 28 USC 455, that governs when judges and justices have to recuse. There’s precedent under that rule,” Barrett then cited Justice Ginsburg, who she said had explained, “it’s always up to the individual justice, but it always involves consultation with the colleagues, the other eight justices. So that’s not a question I could answer in the abstract.”

Barrett also insisted that at no time did anyone in the Trump administration ask her about her opinion on a specific issue which might come up in a case before her as a Supreme Court justice, whether it be Obamacare, the presidential election or the Roe v. Wade decision.

Throughout the first day of hearings, Republicans accused Democrats of jumping to conclusions about Judge Barrett’s views on Roe v. Wade decision and Obamacare, and seeking to turn the Supreme Court into a partisan, unelected legislature to achieve policy victories they can’t secure through the normal political process.

BARRETT’S REACTION TO THE DEATH GEORGE FLOYD

In an unexpectedly emotional moment during the second day of hearings, Judge Barrett described the emotional impact of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman on herself and her two adopted black children who were born in Haiti.

In response to a question by Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Barrett replied, “Senator, as you might imagine, given that I have two black children, that was very, very personal for my family.” She said her husband was on a camping trip with her boys, and she was at home with the girls. “I was there and my 17-year-old daughter Vivian who is adopted from Haiti, all of this was erupting. It was very difficult for her. We wept together in my room.”

Barrett then added: “For Vivian, to understand there would be a risk to her brother or the son she might have one day of that kind of brutality has been an ongoing conversation. It’s a difficult one for us like it is for Americans all over the country.”

While she acknowledged that such incidents show that racism does persist in America, she refused to call such racism systemic in our government, as many Democrats claim, and insisted that deciding what changes should be made to address it was the responsibility of lawmakers.

“Giving broader statements or making broader diagnoses about the problem of racism is kind of beyond what I’m capable of doing as a judge,” Barrett added.

KAMALA HARRIS OBJECTED TO THE HEARING

Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, is also a member of the committee. She initially directed her criticism at its chairman, Lindsey Graham, calling him “reckless” for daring to hold the live committee hearing in Washington “while our nation is facing a deadly airborne virus.” Harris, who spoke remotely from her Senate office, said that Senate Republicans should have been working on a Covid relief bill, ignoring the fact that she and her fellow Democrats had previously blocked such a Republican proposal.

Graham defended his decision to go forward with live hearings, even though two Republican members of the committee had recently tested positive for the virus. Graham said he had consulted with Congress’ attending physician to make sure that arrangements in the hearing room complied with CDC guidelines. Committee members were also offered the option to participate remotely, and several chose to do so.

Harris also accused Republicans of trying to take away the Obamacare health coverage of millions of Americans by manipulating the federal courts. “They are trying to get a justice onto the court in time to ensure they can strip away the protections of the Affordable Care Act—and if they succeed, it will result in millions of people losing access to healthcare at the worst possible time, in the middle of a pandemic.”

BARRETT’S FAMILY BACKGROUND

Judge Barrett and her husband Jesse, who is also a lawyer and law school professor, share a strong lifelong belief in Catholicism. They live, with their seven children, including two who were adopted from Haiti, in her husband’s home town of South Bend, Indiana, within walking distance of the Notre Dame campus.

If confirmed, Barrett would be the fifth woman to have served on the Supreme Court bench, and, at age 48, the first to serve while raising school-age children at home. She would also be the only current member of the high court to have grown up and lived most of her life in the American South and Midwest.

In her opening statement at the hearing, after introducing her children and husband of 21 years, Judge Barrett said that her parents “modeled for me and my six siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love.”

COURTS SHOULD NOT TRY TO SOLVE EVERY PROBLEM

Describing her understanding of her duties as a future Supreme Court justice, Barrett said that “courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.”

Recalling her student days, Barrett told the Senate committee, “When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the committee, ‘What has become of me could only happen in America.’ I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.”

A SALUTE TO HER MENTOR, JUSTICE SCALIA

She also paid tribute to her mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, whose “reasoning,” Barrett said, “shaped me” even before she started serving as his law clerk. “His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like.

“Justice Scalia taught me more than just law,” she added. “He was devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism. And as I embarked on my own legal career, I resolved to maintain that same perspective.”

Barrett thanked President Trump “for entrusting me with this profound responsibility, as well as for the graciousness that he and the First Lady have shown my family throughout this process.”

In a more light-hearted vein, Barrett noted that, “I would be the only sitting Justice who didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale. I am confident that Notre Dame will hold its own, and maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.”

At the end of her opening remarks, Barrett also thanked, “the many Americans from all walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course of my nomination. I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me.”

During the opening day of the confirmation hearings, two Republican senators from her home state of Indiana gave introduced Barrett to the committee, but the day’s most impressive endorsement came from Patricia O’Hara, the former dean of the Notre Dame Law School, who recruited her to join the faculty.

A TRIBUTE TO BARRETT’S QUALITIES

O’Hara described Barrett as “brilliant but humble, fair and impartial but empathetic, open-minded and respectful of differences.” In addition, she called Barrett a skilled listener who is able to build consensus and who is generous to those in need. O’Hara said that Barrett’s legal writings, both at Notre Dame and later as a federal court judge, were characterized by intellectual rigor, painstaking analysis, clarity of legal reasoning and writing, and a deep commitment to apply the law to the facts of the case before her.

O’Hara also told the committee that she is not in the habit of handing out such “glowing references for federal judicial positions. . . Apart from Judge Barrett, the only other instance in which I did so was an individual letter that I submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of now-Justice Elena Kagan, whose tenure as dean of Harvard Law School overlapped with my tenure here as dean. I feel every bit as strongly about Judge Barrett’s qualifications for a position as an Associate Justice as I felt about Justice Kagan.”

DEMOCRATS THREATEN TO PACK THE SUPREME COURT

Ever since the possibility arose that Trump might have an opportunity to name a third conservative justice to the Supreme Court bench, Democrats have been raising the possibility of court-packing if they win both the White House and control of the Senate in the November election. After doing away with the Senate filibuster rule entirely, leaving a Republican Senate minority powerless to stop them, there would be nothing to prevent a Democrat president and Senate majority from increasing the number of Supreme Court justices and “packing” the bench with as many as five additional liberal judges who would be chosen to guarantee favorable high court rulings on a variety of issues on the Sanders-AOC progressive-socialist wish list.

Tellingly, in Biden’s face-to-face debate with Donald Trump in September and in the subsequent debate between Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, the Democrats’ top two national candidates have consistently refused to say whether they would support such a court-packing scheme, which would destroy the Supreme Court’s essential constitutional role as the sole politically independent branch of the federal government.

BIDEN AND HARRIS DUCKING THE QUESTION

Their refusal to respond has become a significant political embarrassment and finally prompted some anti-Trump mainstream media reporters to reluctantly demand a coherent answer from Vice President Biden. Instead, Biden claims that reporters’ questions about whether he would permit packing the Supreme Court, which several nationally prominent Democrats have been talking about openly, are illegitimate. He says that answering them would only play into Trump’s hands by serving as a diversion from the Democrat message to voters that the president is corrupt, incompetent and dishonest. Last week, he told reporters, “You will know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over.” When one reporter responded by saying that voters “deserve” to know his position on the issue before Election Day,” he angrily responded that they don’t.

However, during an interview last year, Biden warned that if Democrats ever did try to pack the Supreme Court, the party would “rue the day.” Biden also addressed the court packing issue during a Democrat presidential candidate debate in Ohio, in October, 2019. He said that “[If] we add three justices, next time around, we lose control, they add three justices. We begin to lose any credibility the court has at all.”

Over the weekend, Biden told reporters that the attempts by Trump and the Republican majority in the Senate to fill Ginsburg’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court bench is “unconstitutional” —even while the plain language of the Constitution clearly mandates them to do so. During a radio interview in Cincinnati Monday, Biden went a little further in declaring his position on the issue. “I’m not a fan of court-packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused. The President would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would, in fact, pack the court or not pack the court.”

In response to claims that Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her court seat remain vacant until after the next president takes office, there is footage of Ginsburg telling an audience of Georgetown Law School students four years ago that the president and the Senate continue to have a duty to fill vacant court spots during the last year before an election. Another statement she made to a similar audience was that there should be no change in the current number of Supreme Court justices, which has been constant at nine since 1869.

OTHER DEMOCRAT COURT-PACKING INITIATIVES

Democrat attempts to pack federal courts with additional liberal justices to assure a solid majority are not new.

As recently as 2013, the Obama-Biden administration tried appoint three liberal judges to fill vacancies on the 11-judge bench serving the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, even though the court did not have a sufficient caseload to keep them all busy. Republicans tried to block the effort, but they failed when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the so-called “nuclear option,” doing away with the ability of the Republican minority to block a Senate confirmation vote on presidential judicial nominees with a filibuster.

The Democrats desperately wanted liberal judges in majority control of the DC Circuit Court, because it has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and decisions made by federal government agencies.

Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Reid at the time that Democrats would regret his action eliminating the filibuster of judicial appointments. Sure enough, just four years later, McConnell cited Reid’s action as a senatorial precedent for his move to eliminate the filibuster rule for Supreme Court appointments as well, paving the way for the Senate’s confirmation of Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Scalia by a simple majority of Republican votes.

Democrats also have a recent history of packing state courts with a majority of liberal judges when they control state legislatures and governors’ mansions. For example, starting in 2015, in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Democrats launched a well-funded political campaign to pack the state’s highest court.

That effort paid off this year in a ruling by the liberal-dominated Pennsylvania Supreme Court ignoring a state law requiring that all absentee ballots be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Instead, the court has ordered that all absentee ballots be counted, regardless of how late they are received.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling has been appealed by state Republicans to the Supreme Court, but it is not the only state in which liberal judges recently added to the courts have been changing election rules for the benefit of Democrats. Similar court fights are also underway in the states of North Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio.

BIDEN ONCE SPOKE OUT AGAINST COURT-PACKING

Even more embarrassing for the Democrats is the video of Biden making a speech in the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 1983, in which he condemned President Reagan for nominating three replacement members to the US Commission on Civil Rights, and compared it to the unsuccessful attempts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s in 1937 to add six new liberal members to the US Supreme Court, after a majority consisting of its older conservative justices had struck down several of FDR’s New Deal proposals as unconstitutional.

Biden argued at that time that, “President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the court. It was totally within his right to do that. He violated no law. He was legalistically, absolutely correct. But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make. And it put in question, if for an entire decade, the independence of the most-significant body … in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

The contrast between a still-youthful looking Senator Biden condemning court-packing as “boneheaded” and a “terrible mistake” contrasts vividly with the image of the elderly former vice president trying to dodge insistent questions from reporters about exactly the same issue today, 37 years later.

IMPOSING THE ULTRA-LIBERAL POLICY AGENDA

The policy implications of a successful court-packing initiative by a newly elected Democrat president, combined with the elimination of the filibuster in a Democrat-controlled Senate, would not be limited to the preservation of Obamacare and the Roe v. Wade decision.

The Democrats can be expected to push through a spate of ultra-liberal new laws by simple majority votes in the Senate, and upheld by a compliant Supreme Court. They would do away with the Second Amendment to the US Constitution protecting the right of citizens to bear arms. They would overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case protecting the right of corporations and independent groups of individuals to spend unlimited amounts of money during political campaigns to support their positions or favorite candidates. Religious liberties confirmed by recent Supreme Court decisions for individuals to follow their beliefs which conflict with state or federal government regulations would be overruled, potentially resulting in the elimination of all religious observances outside of the home or house of worship.

ALTERING THE STRUCTURE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Finally, the progressive Democrats led by AOC and Bernie Sanders, who are now in effect control of the party, would be tempted to use such judicially enhanced powers to eliminate the Electoral College and the US Senate. They also might choose to make them obsolete by creating artificial new liberal-dominated states out of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and partitioning California into three states, to guarantee a one-party, permanent Democrat rule over the federal government.

Outrageous? Hardly. Senator Schumer and Biden are already on record in support of Puerto Rican and DC statehood.

These consequences are the real reason why Joe Biden refuses to answer questions about packing the court if Democrats win control of the Senate and the White House on Election Day. Such an outcome would fundamentally alter the nature of our government and the basic rights of American citizens in drastic and unprecedented ways. That is why the American people need to know whether he would pack the court as president—and they need to know it before they vote on November 3.