https://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kyle-drennen/2020/09/21/nbc-dems-within-their-rights-pack-scotus-after-stolen-seats

On Monday, NBC’s Today show brought on former Obama administration hack Neal Katyal (who was neutrally labeled an “NBC News legal analyst”) to argue that Republicans were trying to “break the Supreme Court” by nominating a replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He even claimed Democrats would be “well within their rights” to pack the high court after the GOP had “cheated and stolen” seats.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up the partisan tirade by asking Barack Obama’s former solicitor general: “Professor Katyal, what does all of this, this fight and how Democrats might respond, mean for the institution of the Court, kind of that last institution that is somewhat removed from politics?” After claiming “Justice Ginsburg’s passing away is itself just so damaging to the Supreme Court,” Katyal blasted the GOP: “I mean it is crazy that just because the Republicans are afraid they can’t win the presidential election that they’re willing to try and break the Supreme Court in the process.”

A duly elected President nominating a Supreme Court justice and the United States Senate taking up that nomination will “break” the judiciary? Actually, that’s called following the Constitution.

Later in the exchange, Katyal seemed to be criticizing Democrats: “And I hate the idea of proposals to increase the size of the Court or other things that the Democrats would use to retaliate.” Guthrie followed up:

I wanted to ask you about that because that’s – I was kind of alluding to that. The Democrats are saying, well, wait a minute, if this happens and you ram through a conservative justice six weeks before Election Day or in a lame duck session, if the Democrats rise to power, if Biden becomes president, then the Democrats are saying, “We’ll just pack the court. We’ll just add more justices so that we can put on people that are in ideological agreement with us.” They call it court packing. What would the impact be?

Rather than scold Democrats for even suggesting such an outrageous scheme, Katyal instead tried to justify the blatantly political move and even attempted to somehow preemptively blame Republicans:

And what these proposals would do is to say, “Look, you’ve essentially cheated and stolen over two seats, the Scalia seat and now this one, and we’re going to respond by increasing the size of the Supreme Court at least by two votes, if now by four or by six.” And I think they’d be well within their rights to do so. But I think that just demonstrates the real unfortunate – unfortunate is too modest a word – the real danger, the serious danger to the Supreme Court that the Republicans have unleashed with these promises to try to and rush a nominee through just because they’re afraid they can’t win an election.

Why would a supposed objective “analyst” be so obsessed with the outcome of the November election? Guthrie commiserated with her leftist guest: “Yeah, you just wonder where it ends after that.”

It’s amazing that Democrats can never do wrong in the eyes of the media. Even when Democrats propose some extreme idea, Republicans get the blame.

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Here is a transcript September 21 exchange:

7:12 AM ET

(…)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Professor Katyal, what does all of this, this fight and how Democrats might respond, mean for the institution of the Court, kind of that last institution that is somewhat removed from politics?

NEAL KATYAL [NBC NEWS LEGAL ANALYST]: Well, Justice Ginsburg’s passing away is itself just so damaging to the Supreme Court. And then to think that there’s going to be this fight in this way is just almost unthinkable. I mean it is crazy that just because the Republicans are afraid they can’t win the presidential election that they’re willing to try and break the Supreme Court in the process. And I do think that is how many people will perceive it, given the promises that were made in 2016.

And so my fervent hope is that people – you know, there are good Republicans and good Democrats, and all we need is four senators from both parties to say let’s stop this nonsense. Let’s do what President Lincoln did when Chief Justice Tawny died 27 days before an election, and just wait until after the election, let whoever wins decide the thing. That’s the principle thing to do, it’s the right thing for the country. But it’s also the right thing for the U.S. Supreme Court, which is the crown jewel in our democracy. And I hate the idea of proposals to increase the size of the Court or other things that the Democrats would use to retaliate. But those things –

GUTHRIE: Well, I wanted to – yeah, I wanted to ask you about that because that’s – I was kind of alluding to that. The Democrats are saying, well, wait a minute, if this happens and you ram through a conservative justice six weeks before Election Day or in a lame duck session, if the Democrats rise to power, if Biden becomes president, then the Democrats are saying, “We’ll just pack the court. We’ll just add more justices so that we can put on people that are in ideological agreement with us.” They call it court packing.

KATYAL: Exactly.

GUTHRIE: What would the impact be?

KATYAL: Exactly. So the Constitution itself doesn’t say how many justices should be on the Supreme Court. We started with five, we then had six, we had ten for a while. But for the last 150 years, we’ve had nine. And what these proposals would do is to say, “Look, you’ve essentially cheated and stolen over two seats, the Scalia seat and now this one, and we’re going to respond by increasing the size of the Supreme Court at least by two votes, if now by four or by six.” And I think they’d be well within their rights to do so. But I think that just demonstrates the real unfortunate – unfortunate is too modest a word – the real danger, the serious danger to the Supreme Court that the Republicans have unleashed with these promises to try to and rush a nominee through just because they’re afraid they can’t win an election.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, you just wonder where it ends after that. Neal, thank you very much.

(…)

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