Last Friday as I was driving on my Door Dash route, I got a text from my dad. I looked at it and it said Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. My heart sank into my stomach as the rest of my friends started blowing up my phone with the news. My first thought was if he gets one more pick and wins re-election, this country is gone. Roe overturned, legal gay marriage overturned, civil rights legislation, as we know it, will potentially be overturned – and those are just the social issues. Wall Street will continue to run rampant over Main Street with even less regulations. Our environment will be polluted, and there will be, effectively, no courts to stop it. Labor rights will become a thing of the past, as a national right-to-work law will now be in play. In short, we’re screwed. No joke – this is scary stuff and I can understand why. There seems to be little stopping Mitch McConnell from bringing Trump’s nominee to the floor for a vote. The question is: What do we do now?
First, I should start by saying that I am more aggressive than the average Democrat. I have seen in my 21 years of life the Democratic Party roll over and die, caving into Republicans along the way numerous times. This is why I consider myself more of an Independent Democratic Socialist than a Democrat. I say all this because I have expressed my opinions before, was told that I was being too aggressive and that the Democratic Party would be alienating people with my views. At the time I could just let that comment go, but now I will tell you there is NO OTHER WAY. We either do this or we die. If the Democrats take the White House, Senate and hold the House, they must end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court and pack it, end lifetime appointments, pack any and all federal courts that have not been filled by Trump and make Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico states.
In It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, David Faris outlines how Democrats have been afraid to do what Republicans routinely do in order to get what they want. Democrats seem to think that they can be above the Republican tricks, and that the American people will reward them for their purity. For that, David Faris and I ask, where has that gotten us? Let me quote one of the best wrestlers of all time, Eddie Guerrero, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” Our first trick is to end the filibuster. We have many bold policies that must be passed under a Biden presidency and beyond, but even with a Democratic Senate, the filibuster will shoot them down, including expanding the Supreme Court. By ending the filibuster first, expanding the Supreme Court will only take a simple majority.
As of right now, the court is 5-3 conservative, and if Trump gets his way it will be 6-3. If the election goes our way and we end the filibuster, then even a 6-3 deficit won’t be an issue. Some suggest expanding the court from 9 to 13, meaning Biden will have four picks and the Republican minority would have to let it happen since there would be nothing they could do about it. After the appointments, we would have a 7-6 or 8-5 liberal majority. Biden should also fill as many Federal Court judges as possible. I will, however, place a caveat on these Supreme Court picks – they should not be lifetime appointments. Every eight years, they should be up for reappointment and the President at the time should get to decide if they want to keep that person on the bench. This means every President will get at least one pick in their term of office. Of course, if the President decides not to reappoint, then their decision would need to go through the Senate for approval.
One of the reasons I hear opposition to this plan is that it could come back to haunt us. If the Senate goes back to the Republicans, and we don’t have a filibuster to stop them, then they will get all of their bills passed. And, if every President gets to make one Supreme Court appointment, then a Republican President can potentially replace a liberal judge with a conservative one. I understand this concern, but for our next trick, we need to rig the system where it will be close to impossible for Republicans to have control again. If we fast track statehood for both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., we will have a Democratic stronghold on every branch of government for generations. Both would be shoe in blue states. Right off the bat, Democrats would gain four Senators, additional seats in the House and Electoral College votes from two more states. Even if the Electoral College is abolished, Democrats would win the popular vote in both states. If you add all of this up, along with the states that are now leaning Blue, like Texas, we would not see a Republican President or Congress maybe ever again (one can dream). This would free us up to fight for progressive policies like Medicare for All and criminal justice reform, and no one would be able to stop us.
To me, all of this seems like a no-brainer, and that is why I’ve held this opinion for years. Now that it is more in the mainstream to expand the Supreme Court, there are other steps that must be taken, before and after, to secure a liberal majority for generations. Now, everything I’ve said means NOTHING if Democrats don’t flip the Senate and make Joe Biden our 46th President. Any Progressive who cares about the movement has no choice but to vote for Biden. It will be easier to organize and change the country under Neo-Liberal control than fascist control. Please, Vote Justice!
By Christian Alvarado