History may be about to repeat itself. FDR faced a conservative court willing to overturn just about any progressive measure he put forth. So he threatened to enlarge the size of the court. The court then loosened up and gave the executive branch more latitude. Republicans may very well succeed in placing Amy Coney Barrett on the bench. Still, if she overplays her hand as past written opinions of hers indicate that she might, she may very well be paving the way for an enlargement of the court.
Joe Biden’s most surprising, and possibly important, answer of the debate
(Vox) President Donald Trump’s performance at the first debate was bizarre, cruel, and at times, truly dangerous. For all those reasons, it probably had the net effect of making it likelier that Joe Biden wins the presidency — that’s certainly what the betting markets thought, and what the snap polls suggest — and Democrats take back the Senate. So it’s worth noting a particularly surprising and consequential answer Biden gave early on Tuesday night, one that may shape the course of his presidency.
Throughout the debate, Trump demanded Biden decry things he has already decried, or disavow policies he has already disavowed. And Biden did so eagerly. Asked to say “law and order,” he said it. Challenged to speak positively of law enforcement, he did. Pushed to denounce violent protesters, he called for their prosecution. Attacked for his plans to defund the police, pass a $100 trillion Green New Deal, and abolish private insurance, Biden said he opposed all of those ideas. “He just lost the left,” Trump muttered angrily.
Which made it all the more notable that when moderator Chris Wallace asked Biden to “tell the American people tonight whether or not you will support either ending the filibuster or packing the Court,” Biden refused. “Whatever position I take on that, that will become the issue,” he replied.
On the merits, this is a dodge. Those are consequential questions of governance, and Biden is running for president. His views are supposed to become flash points in the election. But in the context of all the sharp positions Biden did take, both for and against controversial policies, it was telling. Biden could have dismissed both ideas. At another time, he doubtlessly would have dismissed both ideas. That he refused to do so now reflects how far he’s moved, how far he believes his party has moved, or both.