This is the last topic our editorial board ever wanted to write about. Just as athletes should stay in their lane and leave politics to others, it should not be our job as journalists to endorse any candidate but to report the facts and to let you decide.
Well, you should still decide and our opinion is just that…our opinion and what we are about to say certainly doesn’t help our business model or will make everyone happy but what has transpired over the last week has changed our mind.
We also are not naive or arrogant to believe that what we have to say will change anyone’s minds and while we know that some in our audience is likely to be outraged and will vehemently disagree with us, we must sound the alarm for the law enforcement profession.
Last week, Joe Biden was asked on the debate stage by the moderator that if elected, would he “pack” the United States Supreme Court.
His answer should bring shock waves to law enforcement and every American.
“Whatever position I take on that that will become the issue. The issue is the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. You’re in voting now. Vote and let your senators know how you strongly you feel,” Biden said.
After Biden avoided the question, President Trump continually repeated, “Are you going to pack the court?” Until Biden ultimately said, “I’m not going to answer that question.”
When Trump continued Biden snapped, “Will you shut up, man?”
First, we don’t even know what Biden’s original answer even means. Biden is asked a straight question and he answers with “Whatever position I take on that that will become the issue” now go vote?
While Biden didn’t answer the question, of course he actually did answer the question. A President Biden with a majority Senate would add Supreme Court Justices on the court.
Tonight, Biden’s Vice-Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris was asked the same question. She seems to be a little more sharper than Biden and immediately pivoted to complaining that President Trump was placing federal judges in lifetime appointments that were not qualified.
The face Kamala Harris made when Mike Pence stated that she and Joe Biden are going to overthrow the Supreme Court with court packing pic.twitter.com/Oy1JKdddIw
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 8, 2020
Once again, she avoided the question and somehow forgot that the sitting President does get to appoint vacant federal judges across the land.
Admittedly, we didn’t put much thought into Biden not answering the question because we weren’t even sure he comprehended it but Kamala Harris does and after tonight, there should be real fear of what a Biden-Harris Presidency would bring America and those called to serve and protect.
Kamala Harris told The New York Times that she was “absolutely open to” packing the Supreme Court.
Why won’t she be honest now?
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 8, 2020
For 150 years, there have been nine judges on the United States Supreme Court and the Constitution does not dictate how many there are.
Depending on the 2020 election and based on these “no answers” you can guarantee that if elected, this is going to happen.
If you are wondering why, it’s simple.
The current court was fairly balanced and with Chief Justice John Roberts bouncing from one side to the other, you could say it was even but with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the pending nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, this is about to change dramatically.
Six justices will have been appointed by Republicans and three by Democrats and even if Justice Roberts woke up on the left side of the bed, it wouldn’t matter.
This is why we are hearing about “packing” the Supreme Court.
So what does this mean for law enforcement? While our headline may seem sensational, there is some veracity in it. With a changed court, yes there will be police officers but actual “law enforcement” will be pretty much history.
With all the talk about police reform, the United States Supreme Court IS OUR REFORM. The laws, policies and practices of law enforcement are dictated by what these nine men and women have to say.
Biden/Harris will pack the Supreme Court. It’s that simple.
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 8, 2020
At one time “reading someone their rights” wasn’t mandatory and now it is (Miranda v. Arizona).
Law enforcement used to shoot fleeing felons at such a high rate, reports wouldn’t even be done if no one was hit and now those fleeing felons must be a significant threat to others (Tennessee v. Garner).
While politicians love to talk about “stop and frisk” being unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has clearly given the guidelines for what that can occur and the list of cases that are weaved throughout law enforcement policies are endless.
By dramatically changing the court in a short time period, departments better add paper cost to their budgets now because every policy will change.
Some will say this is a good thing and that this is how law enforcement needs to reform but that is not what the highest court in the land has said……and it’s not even close.
The last two cases that the Supreme Court heard on Graham v. Connor (Use of Force Standards) in the last few years overwhelmingly upheld the “reasonableness” standard that has existed since 1989. One case was a 7-2 decision (with Ginsburg dissenting) and another was a complete shutout which is about as rare as Buffalo Bills victory.
In a divided court, they all agree that the use of force standards in American Law Enforcement should stand.
That translates to “Graham v. Connor” and thus how law enforcement is judged in “use of force” encounters will stand for 50 or more years, despite who the President is.
Adding Supreme Court Justices will change all of that and if you are wondering what it will change, all you have to do is listen to the talking points from Joe Biden’s political party which includes items such as:
- Deadly force should only be used if a gun is pointed at you.
- De-Funding Law Enforcement
- De-Escalation is mandatory, regardless of the situation.
- Ending qualified immunity.
- Ending Cash Bail.
- Eliminating misdemeanor offenses.
- Sending civilians instead of police to calls such as domestic violence.
- Banning proactive policing such as car stop….and much more.
That list is not some conspiracy or something we have dreamed up. It is literally actual practices or theories in some cities ran by politicians from Biden’s political side.
Most of us hear about these things and laugh it off and are thankful we don’t work in California but everyone should understand that a Biden Presidency along with a willing United States Senate makes all of law enforcement California and worse.
And the repercussions that will come with that should scare every decent American.
Law Officer is the only major law enforcement publication and website owned and operated by law enforcement. This unique facet makes Law Officer much more than just a publishing company but is a true advocate for the profession.