Deroy Murdock: A 'Ginsburg Amendment' pledge would unite GOP, split Democrats

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg laid to rest Arlington National Cemetery

In the last four weeks of Campaign 2020, conservatives should unify the free-market movement and Republican candidates at the expense of the Democratic Left.

As Election Day looms, Democratic early-voting and mass-mail-in-ballot schemes have voters picking candidates now. An immediate strategy to cleave the Left and cohere the Right could be neither more timely nor more invaluable.

Thus, Republicans from President Trump, to U.S. Senate and House nominees, to GOP state-legislative candidates all should sign what I am calling the "Ginsburg Amendment Pledge" and make noise when they do.

The Ginsburg Amendment would create the 28th Amendment to the Constitution and enshrine a nine-seat U.S. Supreme Court in America’s most sacred civic document. The recently departed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanted the high court to maintain its current size.

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“Nine seems to be a good number,” Ginsburg told National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg on July 24, 2019. “It’s been that way for a long time.”

Ginsburg added: “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

In 1937, FDR tried to swell the Court to 15 seats from nine, as Congress defined it in 1869. The American public scorned FDR’s attempt to shoehorn his own pro-New Deal majority into the Court. FDR’s own Democrats, in fact, smothered his power-grab in its crib.

“If anything would make the court look partisan,” Ginsburg told Totenberg, “it would be that — one side saying, ‘When we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we would have more people who would vote the way we want them to.’”

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While the Democrat Left worships RBG as a veritable goddess, they totally ignore her fervent wish on the Court’s composition. Like latter-day Roosevelts, leading Democrats now salivate over jamming the Court with revolutionaries in robes.

•Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., threatened that if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Republican senators replace Ginsburg this year with 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, “when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”

•Senator Mazie Hirono, D – Hawaii, applauded an engorged SCOTUS as “long overdue court reform,” a breathtakingly bland term for this jaw-droppingly radical idea.

•Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s attorney general, also used those drab words when he argued on MSNBC September 19: “…we need to think about court reform, and at a minimum, as part of that reform package, I think additional justices need to be placed on the Supreme Court.”

•“Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame-duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler D – N.Y., moaned via Twitter. “Congress would have to act, and expanding the court would be the right place to start.”

A prompt vote would place every senator on the record on the Ginsburg Amendment — Democrats, independents, and Republicans — not least Democrat vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, D – Calif.

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All 100 senators would have to decide whether to stand with Ginsburg and keep America’s highest court at nine seats or, conversely, stand against Ginsburg and leave SCOTUS as vulnerable as a Butterball turkey to being stuffed with new members.

Conservatives should take this fight a huge step further:

A Constitutionalist advocacy group — such as Club for Growth, Heritage Action for America, or the Judicial Crisis Network — should promote a Ginsburg Amendment Pledge and encourage all federal and state legislators to sign it.

Before the Ginsburg Amendment could enter the Constitution, it must be adopted by two-thirds of both the U.S. Senate (66 votes) and the House (287 votes). It then must be ratified by three quarters (38) of the states, based on up-or-down votes in each state’s legislative chambers.

The Ginsburg Amendment Pledge would let Republicans — from the president to candidates for Alaska’s House of Representatives — share a specific, powerful issue to conclude Election 2020: The Grand Old Party collectively would pledge, from top to bottom, to pass the Ginsburg Amendment, this year or next, from President Trump’s encouragement to actual votes in the Senate, House, and state legislatures across America.

Republicans would promise voters consistent support for a nine-seat Supreme Court.

Every Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state legislative chambers from Newport, Rhode Island to Newport Beach, California will have to choose: “Do I sign the Ginsburg Amendment Pledge, commit to a nine-seat Supreme Court, soothe middle-of-the-road voters, and enrage my far-Left Democrat base? Or do I refuse to sign the Ginsburg Amendment Pledge, embrace a packed Supreme Court, enrage middle-of-the-road voters, and soothe my far-Left Democrat base?”

The GOP should make these thousands of Democratic candidates in key races from coast to coast gnaw on that dilemma. Each of these decisions will be a Republican victory — either way. This will unite Republicans and divide Democrats through November 3 and beyond.

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Republicans vying for the White House, 33 U.S. Senate seats, 435 U.S. House districts, and 5,876 state-legislative posts should sign the Ginsburg Amendment Pledge immediately and conspicuously and then corner their Democrat opponents at debates and other public fora:

“Yes or no: Have YOU signed the Ginsburg Amendment Pledge? If not, sign it right now. The whole world is watching!”

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