Court packing? Sophomores voting? These proposals are all about power

For all their talk about how the presidency of my father has upset the “norms” of governance, Democrats are ironically attacking some of the most basic traditions of our constitutional republic. The pursuit of raw power and electoral advantage, rather than any cogent governing philosophy, guides these proposals. One of them is packing the Supreme Court with additional justices, which threatens to upend our political system and puts us one Democratic victory away from socialism.

Ever since her landslide 2016 election loss to my father, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Trump says he's not prepared to lose in 2020 MORE and her supporters have been demanding that we fundamentally change the way we elect our president by abolishing the Electoral College. The Democrats of course have no principled argument for abolishing the Electoral College. Like their court packing scheme, it is merely about changing the rules in the middle of a game that Democrats are losing in order to enhance their personal political power.

ADVERTISEMENT

There is no principled argument in support of letting high school sophomores vote, either, but House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Judd Gregg: An Irish friend and wisdom Juan Williams: Warren on the rise MORE still thinks it is “really important” that we allow 16 year olds to vote, a sentiment shared by left wing autocrats all over the world. Kids are far more susceptible than adults to falling for pie in the sky ideas that just happen to give politicians more power, so American Democrats now follow in the footsteps of Nicaraguan Sandinistas and Venezuelan Chavistas.

The proposal to lower the voting age is not just bad, but it is also largely academic, since it would require new state laws that would face heavy opposition in most places. Similarly, abolishing the Electoral College would require a constitutional amendment, which is virtually out of the question. Court packing is far more dangerous to our federal system of government, since it could be enacted by a simple vote of Congress. Worse, it is endorsed by several leading 2020 Democratic candidates.

“It is not just about expansion, it is about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” Senator Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrat: 'My DM's are open and I actually read & respond' Group of wealthy Americans write open letter asking to be taxed more Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution MORE asserted in a convoluted allusion to the partisan motives at the heart of the court packing scheme. Would Warren and her fellow Democrats feel the same way about packing the Supreme Court if there was currently a liberal majority and my father was the one doing the court packing? I think we all know the answer to that question. The same people calling for court packing today would be screaming bloody murder if the circumstances were reversed.

But we should not be too surprised by the unprincipled hypocrisy of the left, as liberals have long been obsessed with centralizing power and shattering established norms to achieve their political goals, regardless of the damage it does to the rule of law or our constitutional republic as a whole. The Supreme Court has had nine justices since 1869, and the permanency of that figure has allowed the high court to serve as a rock of moderation against the occasional excesses of election victors. The Supreme Court with its nine justices even survived the greatest imbalance of political power in American history despite the concerted efforts of President Roosevelt to pack the court with up to six new justices.

Then, as now, court packing was about one thing. It means power. The rationale that older justices needed younger ones to assist them was a farce. Roosevelt simply wanted to dilute the power of those justices who had struck down the additional powers he was demanding, as he proved when he dropped his plan as soon as the Supreme Court started voting the “right” way in 1937, known as “the switch in time that saved nine.”

Sadly, Senators Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE, Elizabeth Warren, and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandJuan Williams: Warren on the rise 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown 2020 Democrats vow to expand abortion access at Planned Parenthood event MORE are going down this same dubious path. They have made clear that they are willing to upend even the most sacred norms in order to ram through the Green New Deal, abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and many other extreme measures through bypassing constitutional order.

Like their proposal to lower the voting age, the court packing scheme of the Democrats shows their raw power instinct. When they win, they hold their opponents accountable to the rules. When they lose, they attempt to change the rules. Democrats fought viciously to try to prevent Neil Gorsuch and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMaine House speaker announces challenge to Collins Senate seat Trump denies new sexual assault allegation Supreme Court sides with immigrant in gun possession case MORE from joining the Supreme Court. They lost and, unsurprisingly, now they want to change the rules.

Liberals like to pretend that my father is a threat to democracy, but he is actually the one who has shown the greatest respect and appreciation for our freedom and ideals. So next time you hear one of these Democrats sanctimoniously whining about him shattering established “presidential norms” because he is not politically correct and is unafraid to speak his mind, you should tell them to look into the mirror to see the real threat to our country, the rule of law, and constitutional norms.

Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDemocrats seek to ban federal spending at Trump businesses Republicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back MORE is executive vice president at the Trump Organization.