On Saturday, Democratic Socialist starlet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the abolition of the Electoral College. On Thursday, she revealed her plan to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not very original…
At a screening for Michael Moore’s new film “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a member of the audience asked Ocasio-Cortez what she would do if the Supreme Court confirmed all of Democrats’ fears.
“If, in a few months from now, the Supreme Court looks like … a court that would overturn Roe [v. Wade] and make the president above the rule of law, what is to be done?” the audience member asked. This question echoed one real concern (overturning Roe, which would allow states to outlaw abortion) and one false concern (taken from twisting Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record on presidential immunity).
Ocasio-Cortez, never one to defend American institutions at the risk of her activist ambitions, took a page from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s book.
“I think we take back the House, we take back the Senate, we take back the presidency, and we pack the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” she quipped. Then, as if this answer were clear and straightforward, she flippantly added, “Next!”
In 1937, FDR announced just this kind of Court-packing plan. The Supreme Court found some of his New Deal government expansion unconstitutional, so FDR wanted to remake the Court. If the separation of powers stood in the way of big government, FDR was going to get rid of the separation of powers.
He presented the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, a bill to add more justices to the Supreme Court. Three weeks after FDR went public with this plan, the Supreme Court reversed course, bowing to the Democrats and the New Deal. This judicial sea-change went down in history as “the switch in time that saved nine.” While some historians have disputed this connection, the Court did indeed reverse course on the New Deal after FDR’s threat.
This is not the first time Ocasio-Cortez has aimed her wrath at an American institution that stood in the way of her activism. As previously mentioned, the socialist tweeted, “It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic.”
It is well past time we eliminate the Electoral College, a shadow of slavery’s power on America today that undermines our nation as a democratic republic. https://t.co/00HZN3MI6F
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 6, 2018
This is historically false. The Electoral College was created to give small population states more say in the federal government. This helped states like Delaware, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Vermont gain more of a say to balance large population states like Virginia (by far the most populous state at the time of the founding), Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and New York.
According to the 1790 census, free states had higher population than slave states, and there also were more free states than slave states. The Electoral College made no difference between them.
The Three-Fifths Compromise, on the other hand, counted a slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation. This enabled slave states to have more representation in Congress — but less than they wanted (they wanted to count slaves as full persons, which would have given them more power). Ironically, it was good for slaves that they were not counted as full persons for this purpose, but still horrifically tragic that slave states were able to use them as a political bargaining chip.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has shown her disdain for American institutions, based on a false understanding of history. If she had power, she would destroy America’s federal system by abolishing the Electoral College and packing the Supreme Court. Yet more and more liberals are blaming the system for their political losses, suggesting that the Senate — never intended to be democratic — isn’t democratic enough!
None of this should be surprising, however. After all, Woodrow Wilson, a major founder of progressivism, wrote that the Congress should have all the power when he saw himself as an excellent potential legislator but changed his tune when he became president. That’s convenient…
Progressivism is about taking power and using it, American institutions be damned. Democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are even more brazen. Sure, let’s pack the courts, no brainer.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.