The big idea is a series asking top lawmakers and personalities to discuss their moon shot – what’s the only suggestion if politics and polls and even price weren’t an issue, would they implement it to change the country for the better?
Rep. Doug Collins has proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit changing the size of the Supreme Court until 10 years after laws are passed that would change the number of seats in the Supreme Court.
The amendment that Collins, R-Ga., Plans to introduce in the coming days comes after Democrats threatened to grab the Supreme Court if President Trump proposes an election to defeat the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Presidential elections 2020.
Passing an amendment has a high bar: to pass an amendment, a constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate and ratified by three-quarters of all states, or 38 of 50 states.
“If Senator McConnell and @SenateGOP were to push a candidate through during a lame duck session – before a new Senate and President can take office – the new Senate should immediately expand the Supreme Court,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, Democratic Chairman of the House Justice Committee tweeted over the weekend. “Filling the SCOTUS post during a lame duck session after the American people voted for new leadership is undemocratic and a clear violation of public confidence in elected officials.”
Nadler added, “Congress would have to act and the expansion of the court would be the right place to start.”
And Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., Warned that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Casts a vote for a Trump candidate in 2020 – which he does – the Democrats will wrap up the court swore in 2021. “
“It’s that simple,” said Kennedy.
The idea of ”packing” the court with additional judges – unsuccessfully attempted in 1937 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to get parts of his New Deal declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court – has popped up on the fringes of the party for years.
Collins discussed his amendment at length in an interview with Fox News:
Explain your proposed change.
The proposed change – actually it should be a bipartisan issue. We shouldn’t make decisions like packing the court that are based on emotional or political choices. And just in the past few days we’ve seen Jerry Nadler, we’ve seen Joe Kennedy, we’ve seen others say, you know, if the President is doing his constitutional responsibility, should they just win the Senate, or win the House too, they can Pack space.
What my amendment simply does is to try to get the political emotions out of the way of the moment and say that if a law enlarging the court is passed, it can only happen 10 years after that law is passed.
You really need to want to resize the court, not just for political reasons, but for a real reason. We believe this simply leads back to a bipartisan issue that could actually be done.
The reason we did this is because every time they don’t get what they want, the Democrats want to change the rules.
I saw all of this during this congress of impeachment and investigation. They only want to change the rules when they don’t get what they want.
Why do you consider court hearings to be a bipartisan matter?
I don’t think you need to add anything to the dishes.
I think nine is the number we need to stick with. For me, this amendment should be non-partisan in the sense that we shouldn’t rush to make emotional decisions because we didn’t get what we wanted.
It is unlikely that this amendment will be brought into the House by the democratic leadership. So can you explain the purpose of its introduction? Is it to start a conversation?
Well, number one, we haven’t seen very many bills brought down in the House under that democratic leadership other than things they want to attack the President against. To us, this means you won’t have the ground to yourself.
I have made it my policy in this Congress that I will proclaim it if the Democrats want to do things that I think are wrong or unhelpful for the country, or bypass the rules.
And again, this is another way to call this out and have a conversation instead of reacting emotionally. Let’s look at what the legislation is supposed to do, and if we need to have anything to do with the court, let’s talk about it.
Is this amendment something that you wanted to propose even before the death of the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
We thought about it, but it was mainly fueled by the Democrats’ over-the-top rhetoric in the last few days since their death.
We’ve had these issues before, and the Democrats threatened such things, but for the most part it’s a reaction to their just plain over-the-top attitude.
Do you think the Senate should move forward with a Trump candidate for the Supreme Court?
As soon as possible. Keep in mind that Justice Ginsburg had even 43 days from their appointment to their actual confirmation for this to be done. And I think the ones we’re talking about have been checked before. So it’s not like we’re repeating the review process for someone, at least it looks like it. Yeah, I guess when they have the votes go ahead
Mainly because America’s voters will actually have a chance to talk about it on November 3rd. It’s not like having a lame duck president never running again, they have a choice to see whether they like what the president liked or dislike what the president did to fulfill his constitutional role.