- - Thursday, April 22, 2021

In the most memorable — albeit apocryphal — quote of the Vietnam War, it was said of U.S. troops in the 1968 Battle of Ben Tre against the Viet Cong, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

The same could be said of radical Democrats’ equally apocalyptic intent to pack the Supreme Court with four liberal activist judges: “We had to destroy the Supreme Court in order to save it.”

On April 15, Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York announced the newest iteration of the judicial “nuclear option.” They’re demanding the addition of four more judges to a court whose membership has stood at nine for 152 years.

Mr. Markey and Mr. Nadler unpersuasively dispute the accusation that they’re out to pack the court. To the contrary, Mr. Nadler risibly insisted, they’re actually seeking to “unpack” the court — “unpack” it, that is, of its current 6-to-3 majority of constitutional conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents.

That’s because the left views the current court as standing athwart a utopia to be imposed by unelected left-wing judges.

Those four new justices would be chosen by President Biden, who would surely nominate not just left-wing activist judges who disregard the Constitution, but jurists who would send a Chris Matthews-style thrill up the legs of affirmative-action racial, ethnic and gender bean counters.

Messrs. Markey and Nadler are undaunted by then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1983 having correctly characterized President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s misbegotten 1937 bid to pack the court as a “bonehead idea” and “a terrible, terrible mistake.”

FDR sought to add not four, but six, new justices to the high court, which had been ruling much of his New Deal agenda unconstitutional. He expected his six-pack would supply the votes to crash through that roadblock.

Curiously, the Markey-Nadler court-packing scheme came just six days after Mr. Biden on April 9 empaneled a 36-member commission to “study” the issue of court “reform” for the next six months. The president did so despite reaffirming, as recently as October, that he was “not a fan of court-packing.”

It’s unclear why Messrs. Markey and Nadler couldn’t wait for the commission’s (preordained?) findings, when its report might give them cover smoke for their subversion of the judiciary.

Their move also comes despite the fact that now-deceased liberal icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer, the court’s senior liberal, both spoke out against court-packing.

In a July 2019 interview with NPR, Justice Ginsburg said court-packing “[i]f anything, would make the court look partisan.” Justice Breyer on April 7 said it would erode the public’s confidence in the legitimacy of the court’s decisions and the belief that its rulings are driven by legal principles and not politics.

FDR’s court-packing ploy was rightly rejected by Congress, including by his fellow Democrats. The Markey-Nadler end-justifies-the-means scheme should meet that same fate.

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