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Amy Coney Barrett

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Progressive politics these days often takes the form of gaslighting. Thus, politicians who believe that destroying the most vulnerable members of society  those in the womb  are “pro-life” because they believe in the expansion of the welfare state, whereas those who believe in protecting those human beings are not pro-life. Those who claim that men cannot get pregnant or that women do not have penises are no longer graduates of Grade 8 science class, but bigots.  

The trick is an easy one. Take a term that has a specific meaning, change the meaning, and then accuse your opponents of doing the exact thing you’re doing (or plan to do).  

“Court packing,” for example, is a specific term referring to the expansion of the current number of justices or judges. So expanding the Supreme Court from the current nine justices to 11 or 15 justices —presumably with nominees sympathetic to progressive causes like abortion  would be, by definition, court packing. The term originates from the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which was a proposal by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to add more justices to the Supreme Court due to Court’s irritating habit of voting against his New Deal legislation. 

For weeks now, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been refusing to answer direct questions about whether they intend to pack the Supreme Court should Amy Coney Barrett be successfully confirmed (ostensibly tipping the Court in a conservative direction). Harris, who told a New York Times reporter that she is “absolutely open” to packing the Court, would not answer the question at the vice-presidential debate.  

Biden, on the other hand, has been responding to questions with a combination of lies, prevarication, and total contempt. “The only court packing going on right now is going on with the Republicans packing the court right now,” he responded to one reporter. “I’m going to stay focused on it so we don’t take our eyes off the ball here.” The Republicans aren’t packing the Court  by very definition  but that has not prevented the Democrats from turning this obvious lie into campaign talking point to distract from their own intentions. 

When pushed, Biden has simply stated that it is nobody’s business if he intends to change the rules both sides have been playing by for well over a century. Asked if voters deserved to know what he plans to do, Biden was blunt: “No, they don’t deserve (to). I’m not going to play his game.” To another journalist, he took it a step further: “You’ll know my opinion of court packing when the election over  the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.” In other words: Yes, but I don’t need to be defending that right now

In short: The Democrats are considering expanding the Supreme Court to protect abortion and other causes (which have been primarily protected by their successful campaigns against candidates like Robert Bork), but do not want to spend the campaign explaining why they are willing to trash norms while accusing President Trump of being the norm-trashing candidate. So instead, they have invented a fictitious version of the phrase “court packing,” and are accusing Republicans of currently doing the thing they plan to do if elected. Gaslighting at its finest. 

As Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule noted sarcastically on Twitter: Lol the gigantic megaphone of progressive media’s going to redefine ‘court-packing’ as ‘Republicans making judicial appointments, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.” 

Progressive media figures have been quick to jump on the narrative. Dan Rather tweeted: “Can we at least recognize that ‘Court Packing’ at all levels of the judiciary has been the Republican playbook for decades? Asking for Merrick Garland.” Jonah Goldberg responded: “It is stunning how fast this propaganda is spreading. That’s simply not what court-packing means. Filling existing vacancies – even with ample bad faith, cynicism, skullduggery whatever  is not ‘court packing.’ It’s amazing to watch people who know this say otherwise.” 

It’s not really amazing, of course. These are the folks who say the Constitution is living and that a baby in the womb is not; that there are dozens of genders; and that a Catholic who believes a child in the womb can be killed up until birth is a “practicing” Catholic. These are the people who claim, with a smirk, that Kamala Harris is a “person of faith.” When you realize that, the fact that they are lying about what court packing is and brazenly stating that the voters have no right to know whether they intend to do so is par for the course. 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.