MSNBC's Joe Scarborough hammered away at the U.S. Supreme Court's legitimacy after a leaked draft ruling shows a majority is prepared to strike down Roe v. Wade after Republicans allowed Donald Trump to pack the court.
Four of the five justices voting with the majority were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, while one of them took a seat that had belonged to Barack Obama's nominee and another was rushed in the final weeks before the 2020 election.
Due to all this, the "Morning Joe" host blamed Mitch McConnell's machinations for undermining the court's constitutional legitimacy.
"This takes us right now to the top of the show, where Jon Meacham, presidential historian Jon Meacham, talked about the real problems with the way the Supreme Court has been handled by the Republican majority over the past five, six, seven years," Scarborough said. "It is a might-makes-right approach. You actually had Republicans making up a Senate rule, a Senate custom so they wouldn't have to even give Merrick Garland a hearing. You then had, a couple years later -- that was at the end of Obama's term, so they could stop his selection. Then at the end of Trump's term, they threw that aside, further illegitimizing the process. Now they won't give Joe Biden's nominee a hearing."
Scarborough said GOP actions had left Democrats with no other choice than to expand the Supreme Court, which he said had plenty of historical precedent.
"This is my concern, because I love the institution of the Supreme Court and what it's meant to Madisonian democracy through the years," he said. "It has been very disappointing, very deeply troubling because Republicans have so politicized this process that I fully expect Democrats, when they have the opportunity, to do what Washington did and what Adams did and what Jefferson did and what Andrew Jackson did and what Abraham Lincoln did and what Republicans did after Lincoln died, and change the size of the court. I mean, again, if precedent doesn't matter constitutionally, political precedent won't matter. They'll do what founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and Republicans after Lincoln's death did -- they'll just expand the size of the court."
Republicans would have no standing to object, Scarborough said, because they had politicized the court and undermined its legitimacy.
"You see, that's where they've led us," he said. "Then at that point -- and this is something John Roberts knows, I pray to god that it's something that Brett Kavanaugh understands. At that point, when the Supreme Court loses its legitimacy, I mean, my God, Madisonian democracy is undermined, and I say this regardless of my views on this particular issue. What the Republicans have done over the past five, six, seven years regarding the Supreme Court has led us to this point."
"We've seen a draft which we hear ... is most likely going to end up being the net result where the United States Supreme Court is going to overturn a constitutional right that has been in place for 50 years, supported by over 70 percent of the American people," Scarborough added. "That's not conservative, that is radical, it is dangerous. It undermines what I believe is the institution that separates this constitutional republic and this Madisonian democracy, this form of government we have, from every other government on the globe. These are troubling times."
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