Joe Biden may have been something like a moderate, once. As a senator, he defended the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life taxpayers from footing the bill for something they consider to be murder. Senator Biden also voted for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993. Even as late as 2003, Biden voted for a bill to prohibit partial-birth and late-term abortion. Biden did indeed work with Republicans to pass legislation. In 1987, Biden condemned Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s scheme to pack the Supreme Court to support the New Deal.
Alas, that Joe Biden is nowhere to be found in the White House. Biden now opposes the Hyde Amendment and supports H.R. 5, the Orwellian “Equality Act,” which explicitly suspends RFRA’s protections in order to grant special rights to LGBT people. Biden now leads a Democratic Party that will brook no dissent on abortion and he nominated abortion extremist Xavier Becerra — who defended a law forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion and who targeted the Little Sisters of the Poor after Trump saved them from the Obamacare contraception mandate — to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Biden nominated an openly transgender official who supports the chemical castration of children — for a key medical role!
Biden rushed executive orders to reverse Trump’s policies on everything from immigration to Title IX. Biden refused Republican attempts to pass a clean COVID-19 relief bill and a clean infrastructure bill, preferring instead to support the bills laden with Democratic wish-list items. Finally, Biden has grotesquely lied about Georgia’s new election integrity law, calling it “Jim Crow on steroids” and encouraging Major League Baseball to condemn the state. When MLB pulled the All-Star Game out of Georgia, costing the state millions, MLB cited Biden in its statement, even though Biden later insisted he did not support boycotts.
Yet arguably the most tragic and most destructive move Biden has made centers on the Supreme Court. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden danced around whether or not he would “expand” the Supreme Court, packing it with leftist justices in order to erase the originalist gains under President Donald Trump. On Friday, he issued an executive order creating a commission to study “Supreme Court reform” — likely the first step toward packing the Court.
This move may seem moderate. After all, Biden didn’t just immediately try to pack the Court. He ordered a commission to compile arguments “for and against Supreme Court reform.” Yet the commission’s members tilt significantly to the legal and political Left, as The Wall Street Journal editorial board explained.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that Biden’s “faux-academic study” is a “direct assault on our nation’s independent judiciary.”
“So anyone who was surprised by the creation of a commission on packing the Supreme Court simply hasn’t been paying attention,” McConnell said. “This faux-academic study of a nonexistent problem fits squarely within liberals’ years-ling campaign to politicize the court, intimidate its members and subvert its independence.”
Superficially, it seems that Trump has successfully gotten conservatives confirmed to the Supreme Court. In reality, however, Trump selected justices who would apply the clear meaning of the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress, as understood at the time. Trump did not seek out activist justices who would write conservative ideas into the Constitution — that’s exactly the kind of activism Trump and his allies sought to prevent.
Democrats, however, see the Supreme Court as a kind of super-legislature, using the Constitution as a tool to drag history forward. They look back on Roe v. Wade (1973) — which struck down state laws on abortion — and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) — which unilaterally redefined marriage — as positive steps toward progress rather than gross abuses of the Supreme Court’s power. Democrats supported the Court inventing new “rights” out of whole cloth because those rights involved abortion and same-sex marriage. The end justified the extremely unrepresentative means.
As Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) noted, America has roughly 330 million people. “It’s really, really difficult to have those 330 million Americans reflected in nine members of a Supreme Court. It’s still really hard to have them reflected in 100 senators and 435 representatives. That’s doable, especially when those people are elected,” he said. The Supreme Court is not a super-legislature, making laws that reflect the will of the people. Rather, the Court is to apply the laws as written to specific cases.
Biden once paid lip service to the integrity of the Supreme Court. In 1987, he cited a report from the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1937, when FDR threatened to pack the Supreme Court in order to force the justices to rubber-stamp the tremendous abuse of power that was the New Deal. As Biden noted, the committee argued that “the integrity of the Court meant more than the agenda of the president.”
The 1937 report condemned FDR’s move as “an invasion of judicial power such as has never before been attempted in this country. … It is essential to the continuance of our constitutional democracy that the judiciary be completely independent of both the executive and legislative branches of the government.”
“It is a measure which should be so emphatically rejected that its parallel will never again be presented to the free representatives of free people in America,” the report concluded. Biden read that quote,
Ironically, Biden cited this report in his condemnations of Robert Bork, President Ronald Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee in 1987. Biden presided over the Senate Judiciary Committee during the campaign to destroy Bork, whose nomination failed. Ultimately, Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy instead — the notorious “swing” justice who wrote the Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges.
To some degree, Biden was a ruthless partisan operator, even then. Yet as president, Biden has gone over the deep end, not just ramming a far-Left Democratic agenda through Congress with razor-thin majorities but actively moving to fundamentally transform the Supreme Court. It seems as though Biden — whom President Barack Obama apparently relegated to the background — is determined to make his legacy even more radical than Obama’s.
Joe Biden may be the most partisan president in American history, and he’s gunning for the Supreme Court, just like FDR did. It is high time everyone stopped pretending this president is in any way “moderate” or a “uniter.” Instead, he’s fundamentally transforming America faster than his old boss could have dreamed — and the legacy media is still on Biden’s side.