Last night, the Republicans in the United States Senate rammed through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barret to the United States Supreme Court less than a week before the 2020 election in one of the most naked power grabs in all of American history. Cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on our nation’s highest court for a generation with a yet another horrifyingly unqualified and politically radical vampire from the crypts of Castle Federalist Society, the loss of every progressive accomplishment since the New Deal suddenly seems like a very real possibility — unless, of course, the Democrats finally grow some stones and play hardball.
A surprising endorsement of this approach came from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough this morning. The former Republican congressman took visible pleasure in the prospect of the Democrats expanding the Supreme Court to add more Justices and throwing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s words back in his face.
“I love watching stuff like this. This is, like, do I need some popcorn? No, I’ll tell you why. Every word that Mitch McConnell — every single word — and if Democrats have half a brain, and if they’re not wimps, they will actually lift that speech word for word and use it when they expand the court to 11 or 12 justices.
Because what Mitch McConnell said, you know, he’s right. They have the constitutional right to do this. Democrats shouldn’t whine, they should have won the last election. Hey, Mitch McConnell, he has a constitutional right to lie through his teeth. Lindsey Graham is maddening, but he has a constitutional right to lie through his teeth to the people of South Carolina as he’s just done repeatedly, time and time again,” said Scarborough.
“But here’s the deal. What is true for Republicans is true for Democrats. As Mitch McConnell said, this doesn’t violate the rules of the Senate, but, of course, he makes the rules of the Senate and it doesn’t violate the Constitution of the United States. Neither does expanding the Supreme Court to 11 or 12 justices — that doesn’t violate the Constitution and, again, everything Mitch said will apply to that next year in the Judiciary Reform Act of 2021,” he finished.
Surprisingly, Scarborough is right on the money with this take. Sen. Mitch McConnell has balled up all the rules and norms and protocol in order to secure power for his wealthy backers, and justice demands that we do the same. Unfortunately, there is literally no other way around it unless we are content to let Republicans and the oligarchs they serve tear down what little remains of our democracy and roll back every right that we deserve.
In the year 2020, it is outrageous that the fates of millions of people are wholly in the hands of an unelected and highly political council of elders, and if packing the Supreme Court destroys its legitimacy, then good! The American people deserve better than to have to pin all their hopes on winning at Old SCOTUS Justice Death Roulette to ensure that women have agency over their own bodies.
Watch his remarks here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.