The U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson has made it clear that we’re in the midst of an intense fight to preserve the Constitution. This is a battle for the very heart and soul of our republic, for the principles, values, norms and institutions that have allowed freedom to flourish for nearly 250 years.
Americans must realize: Our commitment to the Constitution is being tested.
The Dobbs decision, however, is just the first question in this exam. A multitude of other Supreme Court cases dealing with controversial issues — immigration, religious liberty, free speech, gun rights — are still pending a decision by the end of June. When those rulings come down, we’ll need to be ready for a tsunami of attacks against the Court and on our constitutional system.
Court-packing: The biggest threat to our constitutional system
Even now, we’re confronting a seismic test to our Constitution with the growing threats to expand the size of the Supreme Court.
Virtually every time a decision comes down that does not favor their agenda, radicals respond by attacking the Court’s independence. Activists bemoan that the Court has lost credibility and legitimacy because, for the first time in a century, it is comprised of a solid conservative majority. Yet their proposed court “reforms” wouldn’t do America any good, nor would they help our country operate more in line with the original intent of our Founders.
Instead of upholding the integrity of the judiciary, the rush to stack the Court with a slew of liberal judges would do more to undermine the institution. This wouldn’t “reform” the Court, but rather “deform” it. It would disfigure the judiciary, reducing our nation’s most trusted institution into a hyper-partisan tool, a “tribunal” freighted with political hacks, “politicians in robes” waiting for instructions from party headquarters. Court-packing would destroy one of the key pillars in our constitutional structure.
Other dangerous “reforms”
There are other alarming “reforms” being proposed. Term limits for justices, as opposed to our current system of lifetime tenure, have been floated.
This may seem like a modest change at first glance. But term limits would destroy one of the hallmark features our Founders built into our system of government. Life tenure for Supreme Court justices has worked well for over 230 years and is an essential component to ensure judicial independence. In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton explained that judicial independence “can certainly not be expected from judges who hold their offices by a temporary commission.”
Life tenure protects judges’ independence to decide cases not according to the temper of the times or political expediency, but by applying centuries-old legal traditions, relying on precedent, facts, the intent and text of the law, and the Constitution. More turnover could lead to more frequent shifts in the interpretation of the law or even short cycles in which major precedents are discarded, only to be reinstated later.
Such instability would be harmful to a nation of laws. It would wreak havoc on our freedoms. No longer would the Court be regarded as a bulwark protecting the constitutional rights of Americans. The Court would become another activist tool, subject to the whims of those who wield political power.
Everything is on the table?
It’s not just the Supreme Court that’s under threat. Leaders of the party in power have made it clear that “everything is on the table.” The U.S. Senate — referred to as the greatest deliberative body in the world — is also in their crosshairs.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and several Democrats recently revived their calls to eliminate the filibuster. Doing so would allow them to railroad their agenda without any input from the minority party.
The Founders designed the Senate to be more deliberative and to move more slowly than the House of Representatives. The filibuster rule used to lead to extended sessions of speech-making, prolonging debate in an effort to delay or stop a bill from moving forward. In more recent times, the Senate decided to keep the process moving by requiring a 60-vote majority to end debate and bring a bill to a final up-or-down-vote. Democrats want to change that threshold to a simple majority.
The filibuster forces moderation and compromise. Without it, there would be no check on the majority party to push through massive change with little reflection. If the filibuster is “reformed,” it would destroy the Founders’ vision for the Senate and could open the floodgates to far-reaching legislation, policies, and even radical changes to the Constitution.
Everyone’s liberties — including religious liberty — could be in grave danger if the party in power succeeds at changing the Senate rules. The filibuster is an essential part of our legislative process — a necessary guardrail that protects our God-given rights from being taken away at a moment’s notice.
The threat to our freedoms and our most cherished institutions is undeniable. With more decisions coming from the Supreme Court, the coming weeks and months will be decisive for the future of America. It’ll be up to us, We The People, to stop the brazen Supreme Court Coup. We can’t stand idly by as the enemies of freedom attempt to cancel the Constitution.
Originally published at First Liberty.
Jorge Gomez is the Content Strategist and Senior Writer for First Liberty Institute. He has previously worked as a communications and messaging strategist for faith-based nonprofits and conservative policy organizations. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in public policy from Liberty University.