The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Donald Trump spoke at CPAC. I haven't been able to find a transcript yet, but Fox News published a few quotes that relate to the Supreme Court:
Former President Donald Trump Sunday alleged that Democrats are attempting to intimidate the Supreme Court in order to secure favorable rulings, including by threatening to pack the nine-member bench and floating impeaching Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
"The Democrats are vicious to the Supreme Court and to Kavanaugh," Trump said.
"We're getting some unexpected rulings because the nine justices do not want to be packed. And the Democrats are in a position to pack the court and they don't want to be packed," Trump said.
"They are playing the ref," Trump said "That's what's happening with our Supreme Court."
"If the justices go their way, they won't be packed," Trump also said.
Once again, Trump focused on Justice Kavanaugh in particular:
Trump further lamented the treatment of Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing and even after, when many Democrats have called for his impeachment.
"How does he get out of that? By voting for the Democrats," Trump said. "It's a very sad thing."
The mere existence of the President's impotent Supreme Court Commission will inevitably have an ad terrorem effect on the Justices. Even if the threat of Court packing occupies a single neuron in their minds, Biden will have succeeded.
Update: Here is a transcript of the remarks:
For decades, the conservative movement acted as if all that mattered were policy fights in Washington or that all it would take to prevail was winning a small handful of Supreme Court cases. And we're disappointed in the Supreme Court. I'm disappointed, but the battle is so much bigger and so much broader than any of that. The radical left has been methodically taking over every giant centralized institution in American life. The school systems, you see that, the universities, the bar associations, look at what happened to Rudy… Hollywood journalists, the big banks, big tech, and even the Supreme Court where we're getting some unexpected rulings because the nine justices do not want to be packed. And the Democrats are in a position to pack the court and they don't want to be packed. So they don't want to look at the election. They said, we don't want to see it.
We had led by that gentleman right there from the great state of Texas, we had almost 20 states. And we thought we had a case where the standing was so good. You know, I wanted to do it personally, but they said, "Sir, you're the president. You have no standing." I said, "What kind of a system? Wait a minute. I'm the president." They said, "The thing that has the standing are states. And if you could get one or two or three…" They got almost 20 and they were really strong about it. And you know, the justices never looked at the case. They didn't look. And many of the judges didn't look at the case, but we do have cases going on right now where I think you have patriot judges. And we'll see. We're going to see if that happens. But if the justices got their way, they won't be packed. In other words, what happened is vicious things. Look at the Schumer statement that he said when he was on the court steps. . . .
That's what's happening with our Supreme Court. That's what's happened. They don't want to be packed. We don't want to have 24 judges. You know, they said 13. I said, the Democrats are too smart for 13. It's an unlucky number. Why would they have 13? So they'll make it 15, but they'll probably make it 23, 21, 19. It'll go up. And you know, if they would've looked at the case, we would have won that case in my opinion. And they would have never been packed because you would've had a beautiful veto sitting right in the oval office. I would have vetoed it because it's a terrible thing. But the Democrats are vicious to the Supreme Court and to Kavanaugh. He's another one. "Yeah, Bill Barr", they screamed, "we're going to impeach him. We're going to impeach him." And it changes people.
And how about Brett Kavanaugh? We're going to impeach him on women that admitted ultimately that nothing happened. They weren't even in the country, one of them. It was all a made up scam. They should be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted. And they weren't. But with Brett Kavanaugh, they're screaming, "We're going to impeach him every time…." "And we're going to impeach him." And you know what? How does he get out of that? By voting for the Democrats? So it's a very sad thing. And he went through what no other person I have ever seen go through. That hearing was the most vicious, horrible hearing I think in the history of our country. I don't think there's ever been anything worse than that….