Should we expand the Supreme Court and eliminate the Electoral College?

The Nugget:

Proverbs 29:2  When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

My Comment:

A. What the wicked intend (in their own words):

(1) Expand the Supreme Court

“The Senate just confirmed Trump’s far-right nominee to the Supreme Court. I won’t lie, this is a dark day for our country. But there is a way out: we have to expand the court.

The stakes are enormous. Just yesterday Mitch McConnell made it explicit when he said “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about [confirming Barrett] for a long time to come.”1

But he’s wrong. Expanding the Supreme Court is the way we can protect our democracy, our rights, and our way of life. It is how we stop Trump’s values and policies from dominating our country long after he’s left office. And done right, it can prevent Republicans from responding in kind. Now is the time to tell Congress they must expand the court.” (email from Demand Progress.org, Tuesday, 10-27-2020 at 12:17 pm)

More from the letter:

The constitution gives Congress the power to decide the size of the federal courts. In the past, the Supreme Court has varied in size, sometimes having less than nine members and sometimes having more.2

When Jimmy Carter was president, he signed into law the largest expansion of the federal courts in history.3

With a 6-3 majority, the far right is lining up cases that they will push to the Supreme Court. Barrett is poised to be part of a new majority that will rule on abortion rights, corporate power, contraception, immigration, gerrymandering, and the 2020 election itself.

We cannot just sit back and watch as the Trump majority on the Supreme Court destroys decades of case law and reinterprets the constitution in a far-right way.

Expanding the courts doesn’t mean Republicans will automatically do the same thing — and can help end partisan fighting over the courts. As Jamelle Bouie wrote in the New York Times recently:

“The promise of retaliation can bring a new equilibrium. Expand the court, nullify the conservative advantage — show that all of the games and scheming were in vain — and you may create the space for an acceptable compromise around the scope and power of the judiciary.”4

If Congress doesn’t fight back, they will let Trump and Mitch McConnell tilt our federal court system to the radical right for a generation or more. But after the election, Congress can tip the scale back into balance by adding more seats to the Supreme Court.

Congress needs to do its job — and its duty — to stop the right-wing assault on our courts and prevent Trump and McConnell from sabotaging the next president.”

Sources:
1. The Guardian, “‘They won’t be able to do anything about this’: McConnell revels in Barrett supreme court vote,” October 25, 2020.
2. KIRO, “Supreme Court: Changing number of justices not a new idea,” October 9, 2020.
3. The American Prospect, “What Joe Biden Can Learn From Jimmy Carter,” June 28, 2020.
4. New York Times, “Oh, Now You Believe in Norms,” October 13, 2020.

 

(2)  The Electoral College

I received an email on Monday, October 26, 2020, from Adam Schiff regarding the electoral college with the heading: “If you’re ready to change our current Electoral College system and work towards implementing a national popular vote, add your name to Adam Schiff’s petition.”

In the letter, he writes:

“Donald Trump has upended our democratic norms, dismantled the guardrails meant to protect our democracy, and broken laws left and right.

And when Trump is out of office, we’ll need to work to restore and protect our democracy so that there is never another president this destructive. We also need a different GOP, that will not enable such lawlessness and will end it’s cult of personality around the president.

That’s why I’m in favor of doing away with the Electoral College system.

This antiquated system of determining the winner of our presidential elections is as outdated as it is deeply flawed. Since 2000, two winners of the popular vote — both Democratic candidates — lost the presidential election due to the Electoral College. And Donald Trump’s chances at reelection depend on eking out another Electoral College victory, while losing the popular vote by millions.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the fact that a person who achieves less votes can go on to win and govern 330 million Americans.

There is a growing movement across the country to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote. In the new system, the winner would be the one who gets the most votes.

It’s that simple: One person. One vote. Winner has the most votes. Period.

Change like this won’t be easy, and won’t come overnight. But if we build enough public pressure for a national compact or constitutional amendment, we can come closer to a more perfect union.

— Adam Schiff
U.S. Congressman, CA-28”

B. What the righteous must know and do:

It is clear to me that the Democrats want to change the United States of America from a Republic to a Democracy. Democrats must have forgotten their high school civics and American history lessons. Our founding fathers were absolutely against democracy. Expressing the problem of a democracy in modern terms and simple language, a democracy is two wolves and one sheep voting what to have for dinner. Note that in a pure democracy the rights of minorities are subject to the whim of the majority.

In the first letter cited above, democrats openly state that they want to “pack” the Supreme Court. They must be somewhat ignorant of American history, for this was tried before, and ultimately not well-received. I see it as yet another instance of the Democrat political party revealing publicly their continuing “sore loser” status.

One of the things I remember from the civics class I took was the principle that “To the victor belong the spoils.”

That is why winning elections is important.

That is why every vote counts.

That is why if you stay home and do not vote you are by default voting for what you do not want—the “other team.”

The letter from Adam Schiff contains a number of logical errors–mistakes in thinking. I’ll call attention to just one:  what President Carter did has no relevance to packing the Supreme Court. He did not pack the Supreme Court.

The Electoral College was instituted by the framers of our Constitution for a reason: it ensures that voters who live in less populous states still have a vital say about policies that affect them. At the time, this remarkable innovation was necessary to secure the cooperation of the southern states as well as the smallest and least populous states. Without the Electoral College, politics would be controlled by two or three of the largest or most populous states and the rest of the country would not have a voice in the election of the President or anything else.

Sound reasoning requires that we not change our fundamental institutions as set up by our founders in the Constitution lest we lose even more of our liberties they were most anxious to secure against the overreach of a large central government. Even the Bible reminds us, “remove not the old landmark” (Proverbs 23:10).

The Constitution is not a “living document.” The Constitution is meant to be understood literally and in conformity to what its words meant at the time of its writing and in terms of the intentions of the founders. I just lately finished reading a book by Richard Proctor, Saving the Constitution. Available from or in bookstores everywhere in the US, this remarkable volume expounds each word and line in the Constitution in plain English. I consider this a “must read.”  At this time, the most recent appointment to the Supreme Court is a person who is known to agree with what is sometimes known as the “originalist” principle of interpretation of the Constitution and of law in general. Judges are not entitled to legislate from the bench. With this appointment, those who rightly favor the rule of law not the rule of men may rightly rejoice.

By the way, the principle of original intent and literal interpretation applies to interpreting the Bible as well! I discuss this in detain in the October 2010 Archive found listed to the right. There you will find my important listing of 24 rules of correct interpretation to guide your study of God’s Word. The Bible is indeed a “Living Document” (Hebrews 4:12) that will bring life to the believing reader, but God’s Word never changes.

 

 

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