Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer warned Democrats on Friday that packing the high court with partisan operatives could provoke a Republican response, saying that “what goes around comes around,” according to The Hill.
“And if the Democrats can do it, the Republicans can do it,” Breyer told NPR in an interview promoting his new book, The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics.
Breyer published the book as a defense of the Supreme Court’s independence and an extended rebuke of court packing.
Although long dismissed by both parties, leftist radicals afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome have pushed to normalize it as a mainstream position among Democratic activists, politicians and the corporate media.
Breyer has resisted Democrats who are calling for his early retirement, arguing that partisan politics cannot dictate his tenure’s length without damaging the public’s belief in the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
President Joe Biden in April created a commission to study the possibility of packing the Supreme Court—a move that many people considered a veiled threat to Breyer to retire early or risk the court’s political independence, The Hill reported.
Others have interpreted it as a form of extortion to pressure current justices into complying with a radical, overreaching agenda that has repeatedly been rebuked for violating civil liberties enumerated under the US Constitution.
Democrats feel desperate to retake the Supreme Court after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and Justice Amy Coney Barrett replaced her, which inaugurated the court’s first 5-4 conservative majority in decades.
In the NPR interview, Breyer reminded Americans of the role the Supreme Court served in the resolving the 2000 presidential election.
Breyer relayed a conversation that he had with former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, about America’s willingness to accept the Supreme Court’s decision in a crucial election.
“[Reid] said the most remarkable thing about this case is, even though probably half the country didn’t like it at all, and it was totally wrong, in his opinion and in mine, people followed it, and they didn’t throw brickbats at each other and they didn’t have riots,” Breyer said.
Court packing has not attracted much Republican attention in American history.
From Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 court-packing scheme to Biden’s 2021 court-packing commission, Democrats have long considered expanding the Supreme Court to overthrow any impediments to their agenda.