Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote a scathing opinion article for Thursday’s Washington Post, lambasting any potential effort by DemocratsTo modify U.S. Supreme Court by adding new seats or adjusting the body’s lifetime appointments, but he left out key moments of his own political history.

“Judicial independence is as fragile as it is important. The Framers of our Constitution took great pains to protect it,” the senator wrote, demanding that Democratsleave the Supreme Court alone.” “Every single American deserves every possible guarantee that they will receive impartial justice. It would be beyond reckless for Democrats to smash this centuries-old safeguard in a fit of partisan pique.”

The piece left out any mention of McConnell’s own dramatic and unprecedented efforts to reshape not just the Supreme Court but the nation’s entire judiciary to lean more conservative. Merrick Garland was nominated by President Trump and the Republican majority leader in Senate refused to allow hearings. Barack Obama in March 2016, pointing to a “principle” about Supreme Court vacancies in an election year. Following the September 18, 2020 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg he violated this principle. He rushed to confirm Amy Coney Barrett in a mad dash.

He called that moment a “capstone” in his years-long effort under Donald TrumpTo confirm 220 federal judges, effectively pulling the nation’s judiciary further to the right.

“The Senate exists to defeat shortsighted proposals and protect our institutions from structural vandalism. That is our job,” McConnell wrote in the Thursday article. “The American people need their judges to do theirs: follow the law wherever it may lead, independent and unafraid.”

The Republican leader’s op-ed comes amid work by a presidential commissionEstablished by President Joe Biden to look into Democratic suggestions to retool court. Already, the bipartisan group of experts has been expressed skepticism about a major overhaul of the federal judiciary, according to draft documents, saying such a move “would be perceived by many as a partisan maneuver.”

There is more support on the panel for potential term limits, and another draft paper released by the commission last month said a proposal for 18-year appointments “warrants serious consideration.” Those stances echo recent polls that show more support for term or age limits and minority support for expanding the court’s size.

A fifth public meeting will be held by the commission next week. It is also expected that a final report about its ideas will be published. next month

McConnell and other Republicans, now out of power, have latched on to the Democratic proposals coming from the party’s progressive flank but have regularly refused to link those frustrations to the GOP’s own politicking.

“Even as the political left tries to spin the cancellation of life tenure as a half-step back from an even crazier opening bid, term limits would still be institutional vandalism,” McConnell wrote in the Post. “If a Republican administration came anywhere near flirting with such a proposal, the outrage from liberals would have been deafening.”

In fact, it was outrage last year during Barrett’s confirmation, but McConnell didn’t heed it.

No matter what panel recommendations, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will be changed despite their best efforts. The Senate is dominated by Democrats, and several members of the caucus have spoken out in support. wouldn’t vote to expand the courtEliminate or reduce the Senate filibuster rules.

The Washington Post points out that the idea of term limits would be even more difficult to instituteIt is likely that a constitutional amendment will be required.


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