Markey a Drum Major For Packing the Supreme Court [OPINION]
While most members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation have adopted a wait-and-see approach to Joe Biden's call for a review of the Supreme Court of the United States, Sen. Ed Markey is out in front leading the cheer for change.
Biden, who once claimed to oppose "packing the court," announced the formation of a commission last week to study doing just that. Biden's commission will also discuss possible term limits for Supreme Court Justices and how the justices select the cases they hear, among other things. The panel will issue recommendations. Any changes must receive congressional approval.
The Boston Herald reports most members of the Bay State's federal delegation deferred comment until the commission completes its work or didn't respond at all to an inquiry from the paper – but not Ed Markey.
According to the Herald, Markey issued a statement indicating an eagerness for change.
"After years of Republicans upending precedent, breaking their own rules, and stealing seats on the Supreme Court in order to use it as a political pawn, we need more than a commission to restore integrity to the court,” Markey said. “We need to abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
Such partisan bologna from Markey is par for the course.
The U.S. Supreme Court has had nine members since around the time of the Civil War. There was an effort by FDR to increase the number of justices but it failed miserably. According to a recent New York Times/Siena College Poll, 58 percent oppose packing the Supreme Court while 31 percent support packing the court but no other changes.
Even legendary liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke out against packing the court before her death, suggesting it would be a dangerous thing to do. Ginsburg told NPR in July 2019, "Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time," she said, adding, "I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."
Markey needs to cool his jets and wait to see what Biden's commission recommends. I miss the days when Ed Markey was a back-bencher, only heard from around election time.
Sit down, Ed. Chill out.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.