A funny thing happened as the Democrats in Congress began making waves about "packing" the Supreme Court. "What's that," you say? Well, it began actually doing its job and has fought back against it like an actual co-equal branch of government and not just as a congressional tool.
Honestly, it's been fairly interesting to watch, and it's been missed by most. In fact, I missed the significance of it until a friend pointed it out to me which sent me scrambling to research his "theory." What I found? I think he's right.
In the past few decades, well, more like half a century, the Big Court has had a habit of handing down divided rulings along ideological lines. It has become quite boring, honestly, as you can almost predict (with uncanny accuracy) which Justices are going to vote which way just by reading the case brief.
A quick perusal of the last fifty years of court history shows that unless one or the other lawyers presenting mess up in an catastrophic way, the Justices will just vote in line with how they've always voted. Which makes the last few months of court activity truly baffling. They're making a statement, and if you're well versed in politics, you'll see it.
In may, they unanimously ruled against Refugio Palomar-Santiago who was claiming that his 1998 DUI should not have led to a ban for re-entry, and also unanimously against the Federal Government in a case where Guam was requesting clean up costs for a 1940s US Navy refuse dump that has been causing ecological harm to the island territory.
Later that month, they also unanimously ruled that the under the Fourth Amendment, firearm confiscation cannot be used as a reason to invade someone's home. Unless the police secure a warrant from a judge and follow lawful procedures, they cannot violate the home's sanctity. This takes the teeth out of almost all of the red flag laws.
Now you have two more unanimous rulings. In the recent Garland case, the court decided that a higher court cannot give credibility to a witness testimony if that testimony was not considered credible by a lower court, and in the Cooley case, they decided that Indigenous Tribes have policing power even on public access roads (not considered tribal land) that cross through their lands. (In other words, you can be considered on the reservation if you're driving on a public road through it)
That's five unanimous rulings in the last two months, and at LEAST three of those rulings are classic 5-4 or MAYBE 6-3 rulings. Every person who follows the court regularly would have expected that. Instead? They got a seldom seen display of court unity displaying the Justices' ability to come together and unite at a time when they are being seen as increasingly divided.
I don't see how anyone could mistake this as anything less than the court telling congress to leave them alone. Even Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg was adamantly against court packing, and, so far, Justice Stephen Breyer has refused to announce his retirement so that he can be replaced by the current congress with another "progressive" Justice.
This, of course, is causing apoplexia in the Democrat controlled Congress as they see the winds of change in 2022 (it happens every first Presidential term and trends show it happening again), and want to attempt to replace him now while they have a majority. Yet, I digress.
The point is that even the liberal Justices are showing signs that they do not agree with the Congress' desire to monkey with the make-up of the court or its natural processes. After all, if these Justices take umbridge against a court packing scheme, there's a chance that they will vote as a bloc and kill all of the things that congress attempts to ram through, and there's no chance they'll pack the court with enough Justices to get past all nine of the current Justices.
You see, no one likes the voices from the cheap seats, and that's likely how the Justices view Congress. Congress goes in and out like an ever revolving door compared to the lifetime appointments of the Justices. Heck, most of these members of Congress weren't even past grade school when some of these Justices took the bench. You don't think that they're insulted at Congress' accusations that they are incapable of upholding what is Constitutionally legal or not?
You see, that's the big difference. Congress views everything as legislative. They think everyone is there to make changes and to "move things forward." How far forward depends on if their Liberal or Conservative, but they often forget that the Supreme Court is there to do the opposite. They're there to referee and see if Congress is attempting to avoid its duty to stay true and faithful to the Constitution. I can't imagine they take Congress' bullying well.
What this congress appears to want is a complicit partner in crime that will gladly circumvent the Constitution with them and help them to "get around it" so that they can implement their social vision for the country. Except they're finding that they won't, so they want to make changes, and the Justices just aren't having it. That's a great sign for America.
In many ways, the Supreme Court is the last vestige of hope for our country against this progressive and socialist movement. It is the one branch that is actually charged with keeping us attached to our founding documents and our founding principles. Thankfully, they seem more that willing to stay true to that task, and their recent rulings have fired some clear warning shots to that effect.
I strongly encourage Congress to listen.