Radical leftists believe that — until that great day when they control every aspect of our lives and wield complete power over all three branches of government — democracy in this country is always going to be at stake.
“What I believe that the president and the Democratic Party needs to come to terms with is that this is not just a crisis of Roe; this is a crisis of our democracy,” “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opined on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday when asked about the Supreme Court giving states the right to determine abortion policies. “The Supreme Court has dramatically overreached its authority. … This is a crisis of legitimacy.”
The New York Democrat then floated the idea of impeaching Supreme Court justices, a radical departure from traditional norms. Only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached in American history.
“This court has lost legitimacy,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said flatly on ABC’s “This Week,” Sunday. The justices “have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision. They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wade opinion. I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court, and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court.”
Court-packing — an idea so radical that even President Biden has dismissed it (for now).
Democrats have a long history of undermining faith in our democratic institutions in an effort to gain or maintain political power. Remember Judge Robert Bork?
It was Bork who introduced “original intent,” the idea that judges should go no further in interpreting the Constitution than by relying on the words of the founding document. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to the high court in 1987, and the left went crazy — officially putting an end to what, up to that point, had been civil nonpartisan confirmation hearings.
“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, Blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution,” the late Sen. Edward Kennedy fearmongered.
Then-Sen. Joe Biden presided over the Bork confirmation hearings — moving even The Washington Post to question his impartiality.
“While claiming that Judge Bork will have a full and fair hearing, Senator Joseph Biden this week has pledged to civil rights groups that he will lead the opposition to the confirmation,” the Post editorialized. “How can he possibly get a fair hearing from Biden, who has already cast himself as the role of prosecutor instead of a juror in the Judiciary Committee? If there is a strong, serious case to be argued against Judge Bork, why do so many Democrats seem unwilling to make it and afraid to listen to the other side?”
Bork was rejected on a 58-42 vote, then the largest margin in Senate history, and the verb “bork” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, defined as “to defame or vilify a person systematically.”
The Bork charade set the precedent for the highly contentious hearings for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh — where leftist protesters shut down the operations of the Senate — and destroyed any remaining bipartisanship in judicial confirmations.
In 2013, frustrated by having to compromise with Republicans, then-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid took the dramatic step of eliminating filibusters for most presidential nominations — allowing confirmations to advance by a simple majority vote rather than the 60-vote supermajority which had been the standard for the previous four decades.
Mr. Reid said it was time for the Senate to evolve, while Sen. Mitch McConnell, then the head of the Republican minority, lamented the move as a blatant Democratic “power grab.”
Mr. McConnell would then use Mr. Reid’s precedent when he became majority leader in 2017, eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations and paving the way for the confirmation of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch.
It was former President Barack Obama who bragged, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” threatening executive actions if Congress wouldn’t bend to his will. He also was the first to bypass the Senate in negotiating his Iran deal — as is constitutionally required of a “treaty.” Mr. Obama simply labeled it a “nonbinding agreement.”
It was Democrat Hillary Clinton who unleashed the Russian hoax on Mr. Trump, poisoning the 2016 presidential election, and Democrat Stacey Abrams who in 2018 refused to concede the Georgia gubernatorial race because of what she claimed were election irregularities.
Democrats wrote the playbook. Yet the only “crisis to our democracy” comes when Republicans play by it.
• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.