One of the most radical schemes that the left has come up with in the aftermath of the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh and declination to confirm Merrick Garland was to advocate court packing. On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, co-host Joe Scarborough took it one step further and suggested Democrats add it to a list of national emergencies that they can declare whenever they take back the White House.
Democrats have floated the idea of using Trump's precedent of declaring an national emergency to build a wall on the border with Mexico to declare climate change and gun violence national emergencies. The notion only proves that they really do not oppose Trump's use of executive power, they just want to wield it to their own ends. Still, the suggestion from Scarborough, the self-proclaimed principled "conservative" in the Trump era, to pack the high court was court packing suggestion is even more radical than what most on the left have been advocating.
Speaking to fellow co-host Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough claimed that Democrats could say that, "When the President of the United States appoints, nominates a Supreme Court Justice and the Senate, for political reasons, refuses to even give him a hearing" constitutes a national emergency. For a man who portrays himself as the defender of the Constitution and American institutions from a supposed aspiring dictator in the White House, the idea that Scarborough thinks it would be a legitimate argument for Democrats to claim that the Senate refusing to confirm Merrick Garland is of such importance and contrary to "Constitutional law and precedents" that the Supreme Court should be expanded to eleven is beyond parody.
Scarborough may say that he does not support this and is only raising concerns, but if he was truly concerned about excess executive power, he would not be giving Democrats any ideas and would say court packing is nothing but a naked power grab. Instead he would ask them what they plan to do to curtail it once Trump inevitably vetoes their measure of disapproval or whether they just oppose Trump's executive actions because they don't agree with the wall.
Here is a transcript of the February 26 show:
7:20 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, Mika, what else is a national emergency, Mika?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: What?
SCARBOROUGH: What else Democrats can say on the campaign trail this year is a national emergency—is when the President of the United States appoints, nominates a Supreme Court justice and the Senate for political reasons refuses to even give him a fair hearing. So I wonder do Democrats now when they’re running say, “What Mitch McConnell did to Merrick Garland was a national emergency, so what we're going to have to do until that’s rectified, cause it’s a national emergency, is we’re going to have to add two seats to the Supreme Court after a Democrat gets into office.” The number of seats on the Supreme Court is not dictated by the United States Constitution. Again that's an argument that an argument that Democrats can make on the campaign trail right now, that's an argument that Democrats can make after their one is elected President of the United States and say, “You know what, we have to add two seats to the United States Supreme Court because Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell so polluted the process and so politicized the process that constitutional law and precedents that have been in place for over half a century are all in danger of being overturned. National Emergency: 11 people on the Supreme Court.
BRZEZINSKI: And they’ll do that for Trump and his wall.
SCARBOROUGH: That. That is what Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell and any Republican who votes for this is opening themselves up to.