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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Democrats are twisting the English language to suit their agenda

In “1984,” George Orwell introduced the term “doublespeak.” In the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, Democrats have perfected it.

The Democrats are in a bad way, and two things stand immediately in the path of their political agenda: the Supreme Court and the English language. To destroy one, they must destroy the other.

The first words to be put through the doublespeak wringer are “court packing” — a phrase students of American history are familiar with for Franklin Roosevelt’s failed effort to make an end-run around the Constitution by expanding the Supreme Court and filling the new seats with cronies who would give him his way.

Democrats have been forthrightly pressing for a court-packing program in the event of a Joe Biden presidency and a Democrat-run Congress, making the case everywhere from the halls of power to the pages of The New York Times. But the term “court packing,” redolent of banana-republic shenanigans, isn’t playing well, and Biden has been discomfited by it.

What “court packing” really means, Democrats insist, is what Republicans have been doing: filling judicial vacancies in the ordinary way. Republicans have not expanded the courts, proposed expanding the courts, purged sitting judges, or anything like that. As it turns out, the judges chosen by the Republican president’s Republican advisers and confirmed in the Republican Senate are more Republican-ish than not. That isn’t court packing — it is an illustration of Barack Obama’s maxim: “Elections have consequences.”

Thus, what isn’t court packing is now “court packing.” And what shall we call actual court packing? Anything but court packing, of course.

Dahlia Lithwick, the Democratic operative who poses as a legal reporter at Slate, calls the term “court packing” a “branding problem” and insists it should be “systemic structural court reform” instead.

Other Democratic activists sent out talking points asking their media allies to characterize the Democratic effort to expand the benches for explicitly partisan reasons and thereby politicize the courts “depoliticizing the courts.” The language was immediately picked up by, among others, the Associated Press. And so court packing is not court packing, and politicizing the courts is depoliticizing the courts.

Other Democrats, including celebrity activists such as “Glee” actress Jane Lynch, have mocked Judge Barrett’s philosophy of “originalism,” noting that at the time of the Constitution’s ratification, women were denied the vote. But, of course, women’s suffrage came about exactly in accordance with Barrett’s originalist principals: The Constitution was silent on the question of women’s voting, which is why some states (Wyoming, Washington, Utah) enfranchised women, even as most did not.

Democrats have perfected “doublespeak” during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings.
Democrats have perfected “doublespeak” during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings.MediaPunch / BACKGRID

This seemed wrong and unjust to many Americans, who organized themselves politically and introduced a constitutional amendment mandating women’s suffrage, which was passed by Congress and ratified by the states in accordance with Article V. It was a textbook example of the constitutional process working as intended.

By comparison, the process by which the so-called constitutional rights to abortion and gay marriage came into being was the opposite of the process by which women gained the vote. In both of those cases, a group of sympathetic political actors on the Supreme Court simply magicked the “right” into existence at the behest of progressive activists.

The originalist position is not about whether abortion rights or gay marriage are good policies but about how such policies should be enacted: through the political process, including lawmaking and constitutional amendments if necessary, or through judicial fiat?

Court packing and judicial activism are policies that dare not speak their names. That is very common on the Left: Think of how almost all of the abortion-rights groups have taken the word “abortion” out of their names and their literature.

Poor Joe Biden just doesn’t have the charisma to get away with saying things plain. Democrats propose to expand the courts in order to put more Democrat activists on them in order to enact the Democratic policy agenda, and they call this “depoliticizing the court.”

Even the author of “Animal Farm” might have thought this a bit much.

Read More at NYPost

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