Take heart American women and men of good conscious. This is how FDR would have handled the same basic problem we have today. We CAN DO THIS too! Just make sure you VOTE OUT EVERY GOP politician at every level of this government next month. They deserve to be completely rebuked.
Then, when we regain the executive branch, and that is certainly coming now, we can do this. Kavanaugh can be impeached or his weight diluted by adding two justices. Two ways to deal with this.
And yes, we do fear that becoming a dictator may be what Kavanaugh is all about. However, there is NO LAW stating it has to be 9 JUSTICES! It can be 11 just as easy, and in fact, more is better in this case. The GOP has forced us to do this with their heartless ramrodding of laws and tax breaks for the rich that the MAJORITY of Americans DO NOT WANT!
The “Four Horsemen” was the nickname given to four conservative members of the US Supreme Court during the 1932–1937 terms. They consistently opposed the New Deal agendas of President Franklin Roosevelt. They were opposed by the more liberal “Three Musketeers”. Chief Justices Charles Hughes and Justice Owen Roberts controlled the balance, making the nine.
In the 1935 term, the Four Horsemen, together with Roberts and Hughes, voided the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 along with the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act, the Railroad Act, and the Coal Mining Act. Americans were suffering from the Depression and needed the help FDR wanted to create.
The result of this dynamic was a steady drift towards crisis with the Court. The 1935 SCOTUS was labeled by Justice Stone as “one of the most disastrous courts in US history”. New Dealers decried the Court’s actions promoted an “economic dictatorship”.
It was the Horsemen striking down FDR’s New Deal legislation that led FDR to announce a unique court-packing scheme, a proposal made in February 1937 to just appoint more Justices in order to change the composition of the Court. There was (and still is) nothing in the Constitution that says it has to be nine justices. Soon after FDR’s strategy was announced, it was rendered unnecessary when Justice Roberts, who had supported the Four Horsemen on several decisions during the 1935-36 term, sided with the Three Musketeers in a landmark minimum wage case in March 1937. The court balance literally changed in under 30 days – and America was saved.
FDR was a warrior, willing to do think outside-the-box to fight for democracy. FDR’s creative strategy made the Four Horsemen’s union seem doomed, and they buckled to public pressure. That lesson must be re-learned right now.
We have to begin to tell the GOP and ourselves that American Democracy will prevail regardless of how the SCOTUS appointment goes – or does not go. If we take back both houses, we can make it ten or even eleven justices. Nine is not in the Constitution. It’s totally up to Congress! Welcome back Merritt Garland! And if it takes FDR’s court-packing idea to reset democracy, we should start talking about that ASAP for good reasons.
First, FDR’s court-packing idea provides hope for people on the right side of history and will help bring them to the polls. Nothing is worse than despair to make voting seem like a waste of time. But it also promotes a sense of impending doom for those on the wrong side of history. If regardless of what the GOP does now to break the USA, (Gerrymandering, tax breaks for the rich, tariffs, breaking health-care, stoking racism, polarizing us, working with our enemies, etc.) it can be undone in a Democratic Congress, the GOP will get the message that maybe they should not make themselves look so bad for trying. We may even influence people to break ranks with Trump if they know their actions are ultimately doomed.
And of course, in a Democratic Congress Trump will become as malleable as Silly Putty. It’s clear his only MO is self-preservation, and we will hold all the prosecutorial cards when we control both houses. So I can see him flipping on the GOP to save his hide if we take back Congress. Everything really depends on that.
Spread this memo around in your own way, please. It’s a bit of a history lesson, but it teaches us what has been necessary to defend democracy and that what we are experiencing today is not really new.
Also, note. Though the Four Horsemen ultimately broke ranks, they did so only after FDR made it clear he would pack the court to defend democracy. That’s when they realized they were wasting their time. And that’s when they quit. The same can happen now. The GOP must be made to know this – they cannot overrule the will of the American majority.
So let’s start talking about ten and even eleven justices if the GOP is bent on ramming its unpopular agendas down our throats.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 is America’s new Independence Day. Be there!