Neither political party can claim total innocence when it comes to manipulating an ideological balance on the US Supreme Court. But as Robert Reich points out in the concluding video, maybe neither has put as much effort into structuring the Court of its dreams than today’s Republican Party.
As Mitch McConnel has shown, he is willing to do anything Senate leadership position lets him get away with to avoid permitting a moderate or liberal jurist gaining a seat on the Court; Merrick Garland would be the perfect example.
The US Constitution provides that when a vacancy on the nation’s most powerful court (the Court of last resort) arises, the president has the power to submit a name for “advice and consent” by the Senate. In Garland’s case, however, when Obama nominated Garland to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia, McConnell and other Republicans refused to permit a confirmation vote to occur until Obama had left the office and the presidency was in the hands of Donald Trump.
Once in office, Trump nominated conservative Neil Gorsuch but the ideological balance of the Court remained unchanged. In 2018 Trump nominated a second Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, and his confirmation by the GOP controlled Senate changed the Court’s balance. No longer was there a four to four split between liberals and conservatives with a ninth Justice acting as a swing vote. The current balance is basically six to three with the Chief Justice, John Roberts, rarely siding with the liberals.
Since Justices serve for life it is unknown, and very important, how long this balance, or depending on your view, imbalance, will last.
Now, armed with this information, take a listen to what Robert Reich has to add. Also, for the classic example of Democrat Supreme Court ugliness Google information about Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt at “stacking” the court during the 1930s. Not their finest hour.