James Madison declared: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the hands of one political party is the definition of tyranny.”
On Sept. 24, this nation will celebrate the 232nd anniversary of President George Washington signing into law the Judiciary Act of 1789, creating the Supreme Court.
The Galveston County Coalition for Justice’s reflection on the Supreme Court’s longevity provides us with a golden opportunity to join in the public debate over reforming the Supreme Court.
However, I believe in terms of “civil rights,” the debate should’ve started 165 years ago with the Supreme Court’s infamous decisions in Dred Scott v. Sanford in 1856 denying citizenship to African Americans or the horrendous decisions handed down in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 proliferating Jim Crow laws of the “separate but equal doctrine.”
Although the Court’s shameful trajectory on civil rights was temporarily reversed in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, it wouldn’t take long before the Court resumed invalidating other civil rights laws such as the case of Shelby County v. Holder in 2013.
Throughout the years, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bragged to the Federalist Society about his bare-knuckle tactics in the Senate to “pack” the Supreme Court.
But, the table has turned and the Democratic Party has taken control of the White House and the Congress. The same monomaniacal Mitch McConnell is attacking the Democrats for plotting to pack the Supreme Court, something he has taken pleasure in doing for years.
Apparently, McConnell forgot the old Southern slang that goes, “It ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.”
Be that as it may, the dubious 6-3 conservative majority Supreme Court has lost public trust as a legitimate court of law.
But McConnell doesn’t care about public trust; he’s making more promises that if the Republicans regain a Senate majority in 2022, he would not allow President Biden to fill any Supreme Court vacancy. Sound familiar?
Now is the time for the Democratic-controlled Congress to end the 1837 Senate filibuster clause and reform the Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices from nine to 13, establish a non-renewable 20-years term limit with justices’ nominations staggered in such a way that each president can only make two appointments during each term.
George Washington didn’t trust political parties, and he would’ve never trusted McConnell. In his farewell address, Washington warned this nation of the tyranny of partisan politics. He said, “The love of power and the proneness to abuse it predominate the human heart. This fragile government can only survive through the wholly separation of the three branches of government to preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them.”
We the people, who have a passion for liberty, must demand that Congress pass the Judiciary Act of 2021 with all deliberate speed.
The struggle continues.