Roper: The “Expand the Supreme Court” letter is a call for insurrection.

Every VT elected official who signed it should be removed from office and prosecuted (just to be fair).

by Rob Roper

As we approach Constitution Day on September 17, eighteen Vermont elected officials, including our Lieutenant Governor, signed a shocking letter calling for the expansion of the U.S. Supreme Court by four members. Signing this letter should disqualify them all from holding any public office, not for the idea of expanding the Court – there’s nothing in the Constitution stipulating the number of members the Court has to have – but for the reasons they put forward for the change.

Let’s go through their letter and shed a little light on what is basically an insurrectionist call to delegitimize and overthrow a co-equal branch of our government, undermining Constitution and our small “r” republican system. The letter goes…

Today, the Republican-appointed supermajority that controls the Supreme Court is an existential threat to our rights and our democracy. To secure the future of our rights, our democracy, and our ability to govern as state and local elected officials, we need to expand the Court and restore balance.

This is blatant attempt to politicize the Supreme Court, which was and is supposed to be separated from and be a check and balance on the partisan passions that drive the elected branches of government. The Court’s loyalty is to the Constitution, not to the voters or the other branches of government. That’s by design. Yet the stated purpose here is to alter the makeup of the Court along political lines to bring it into sync with the partisan political agenda of the Democrat party.  As such, the letter signers are essentially attempting to overthrow a legitimately appointed, co-equal branch of government, undermining the Constitution they all swore an oath to uphold.

The Supreme Court is controlled by an extremist supermajority that is enacting a partisan Republican agenda instead of following the Constitution and the rule of law. As we saw in the decision overturning Roe v. Wade…

No, what the signers of the letter don’t like is that this Court is actually upholding the Constitution by striking down laws that violate the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and/or overstep the bounds of the authority granted to lawmakers by the Constitution.

Our Constitution is designed to limit the powers of government, especially the federal government. The signers of this letter do not want the powers of government subjected to Constitutional limitations, as what they ultimately seek is a Left-wing dictatorship in the guise of a democracy with themselves in charge. No thanks!

It’s interesting that they use the overturning of Roe v. Wade as their example of overstepping bounds. They couldn’t have picked a worse one. Where in the Constitution does it discuss abortion? It doesn’t. The 10th Amendment reserves those issues not specifically delegated to federal government to the States, or the people, which is exactly what the Court ruled – it returned the issue to the states to decide per the Constitution and via the democratically elected officials in those states, who are responsible to their voters. In other words, this Court restored the democratic process – you know, democracy! — by following rather than ignoring the Constitution.  

This is what the letter signers don’t like.

…no right is safe from the radical, far-right justices who control this Court.

Although this court has made some rulings that leave me scratching my head, I’m pretty sure the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press (which is not exclusively the media, but every citizen’s individual right to publish their opinions with the same freedom that we have to speak them), freedom of association, the right to bear arms, and to a generally the the preservation of decision making by states and, more importantly, the people are in much better hands with this Court than any recent configuration.

It is precisely these rights that the signers of this letter want to take away (just look at their voting records and the legislation that they sponsor), which is why they see the need to overthrow the third branch of Government.

We are especially concerned about voting rights and democracy, as the Court routinely steps in to make it easier for Republicans to suppress the vote, gerrymander districts,…

What the radical Leftist signers of this letter don’t like is the fact that the Courts are stepping in to make it harder Leftist legislatures to pass laws making it easier to cheat in elections. They worry about democracy? Do they forget that we established the most dynamic, successful democratic nation in history for over two and a quarter centuries without the “benefit” of mail in ballots, ballot harvesting, drop boxes, or early voting a month and a half in advance? What creates confidence in electoral results is a clear chain of custody for each ballot from voter to vote counter, and this is precisely what they are trying to do away with.

As for gerrymandering, it is supremely ironic that many of the signers of this letter wouldn’t be in elected office today were it not for the gerrymandering done by the Democratic Supermajority in Montpelier during redistricting following the 2020 census. Full disclosure, I served on the Reapportionment Board, and the partisan Democrats totally rejected the tri-partisan map put forward by the Board calling for all single member legislative districts – a concept that had overwhelming public support. So much for their love of democracy and distain for rigging the map!

As elected officials, we are especially concerned that the Court is making it harder for the elected branches at all levels to actually solve problems. The Court repeatedly steps in to overturn or restrict democratically enacted policies that do not align with the Republican Party’s agenda. We must be able to solve the urgent issues facing this country without being stymied by partisan judges who routinely overstep their authority.

The arrogance here is breathtaking! This being a free country founded upon the principles of individual rights and limited government – you know, those rights codified in the Constitution you say you’re so concerned about — it is not your job to solve most of the problems you think it is your business to solve. In fact, most of the problems that exist today are the result of you overstepping your authority and sticking your incompetent fingers where they do not belong in the private affairs of citizens.

The Constitution states that you “shall pass no laws” abridging citizens’ freedom of speech and press, the right to keep and bear arms, allowing unreasonable searches and seizures — or do anything not specifically spelled out in the Constitution. When you try to do these things, it is the Courts job to “stymie” you. That is the whole point of the Court. You don’t like it, so you’re trying to overthrow the branch of government that serves as a check and balance on your greed for power.

The Court’s overreach is all the more concerning because the Republican supermajority is illegitimate. Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination, rammed through Brett Kavanaugh despite credible charges of perjury and sexual assault, and confirmed Amy Coney Barrett after 60 million Americans had already voted in the presidential election.

Interesting…. When elected officials say the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate and call for it to be overturned (not a position I am endorsing, but just pointing out the hypocrisy here) they are accused of insurrection and subjected to criminal indictment and be banned from future ballots. But when you say that the makeup of the Court – an co-equal branch of government to the executive (and legislative) — is illegitimate and should be overturned, that’s totally cool I guess? Nope. Same thing. You all need to be thrown into the same cell with Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

As for your reasoning about Merrick Garland, etc., could you please point out where any those moves, albeit political hardball, was outside the Constitutional authority of the Senate? Remember that the Constitution you are ostensibly worried about requires the “advice and consent” of the Senate in appointing Supreme Court justices. In each of the cases you cite, the Senators either consented or did not consent to the President’s nominee per the rules of the Senate and the U.S. Constitution.

This Court has been hijacked by far-right special interests, and Americans will not be able to trust it until it has been reformed.

Nope. Elections in a democratic republic have consequences – those for senators as well as presidents – and the Court members were all duly nominated by the duly elected president and confirmed by the duly elected Senate per the rules set forth in the Constitution. No hijacking here. This is what de-mo-cra-cy looks like!

Expanding the Court by adding four seats is the clearly constitutional way to restore balance. It is in line with American history, and it will restore balance without delay. We join the growing movement of Americans demanding expansion to protect our rights and our democracy.

Yeah, right. I look forward to 2025, after Republicans retake the Senate and the White House, for your support in expanding the Court by four more seats. What the heck, let’s make it six. Because if what you’re advocating for is really a good idea for the Constitution and Democracy today, it’s should be timeless and therefore just as good two years from now. If not, you’re all just a bunch of partisan hacks trying to undermine and overthrow a legitimately established co-equal branch of our government.

Here are the insurrectionists who signed the letter:

Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman (D/P-VT)

State Sen. Martine Gulick (D-Chittenden Central)

State Sen. Nader Hashim (D-Windham)

State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden Southeast)

State Sen. Tanya Vyhovsky (D-Chittenden Central)

State Sen. Anne Watson (D-Washington)

State Sen. Becca White (D-Windsor)

State Rep. Daisy Berbeco (Chittenden 21)

State Rep. Mari Cordes (D-Addison 4)

State Rep. Bobby Farlice-Rubio (Caledonia 1)

State Rep. Troy Headrick (P-Chittenden 15)

State Rep. Emilie Kornheiser (D-Windham 7)

State Rep. Emilie Krasnow (D-Chittenden 9)

State Rep. Kate Logan (P-Chittenden 16)

State Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (P-Chittenden 17)

State Rep. Monique Priestley (D-Orange 2)

State Rep. Taylor Small (P-Chittenden 21)

State Rep. Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D-Caledonia 2)

Rob Roper is a freelance writer who has been involved with Vermont politics and policy for over 20 years. This article reprinted with permission from Behind the Lines: Rob Roper on Vermont Politics,

Categories: Commentary

22 replies »

  1. They bank on an u imported and uneducated public being emotionally charged to back their agenda. Kesha Ram sent out an email on FPF after the supreme Court struck down Roe vs Wade and determined that states have the right to set individual policies relative to abortion. She actually started off her very unprofessional communication with a statement like, I know how disappointed you all are by the Supreme Courts decision to take away your rights. I responded publicly by stating that her email was unprofessional and that she has no right to tell me how to feel. The Supreme Court isn’t taking away anyone’s rights and that the issue of abortion will be determined by each state. Due to the progressive majority in the Vermont legislature, the people of Vermont will not loose their ability to get an abortion. The Left are master manipulators, driving policy by employing fear and scare tactics on voters who are too easily manipulated.

  2. A former boss told me many years ago that my work product is a direct reflection upon me – my character, my intention, my competency, and my ethics. I never forgot this comment. Today, I apply that same standard to our so called leadership, bureaucrats, and their policies. Their work product proves to be absolute dung and it reflects upon them appropriately and sustinctly.

  3. Our super-majority of Progessives and Liberals are nothing more than arrogant hyprocrites. They play follow the leader because they have no idea on how to do their job or even what their job entails! All they have done is an insult to our Constitution and the people’s rights of this state!
    They need to go now! Our whole country depends on getting these like minded-people out of office before we have no country left!

  4. Mr Roper. As a big fan of your work, I have to say this is among your best articles yet. I suppose that in addition to thanking you I should thank the Dem/Progs for giving you such a target-rich environment. Please keep up the good work.

  5. I love how Roper was on the Reapportionment Board and then blames them for gerrymandering!! Way to take personal responsibility, you are to blame just as much as liberals.

    Here’s a fun fact if you ever wonder which side the Supreme Court is on (Hint: it’s the wealthy)

    Clarence Thomas voted for Citizens United

    Harlan Crow’s political contributions increase 862%

    Clarence Thomas is found to have accepted and not reported millions of dollars in gifts and trips from Harlan Crow, including paying his children’s private school tuition and providing “free” housing for his mother.

    Crow and his billionaire friends directly benefit from Thomas’s anti-union, anti-worker, anti-citizen rights rulings usually based on smoke and mirrors.

    But we have an impartial court. There is a reason only 25% of Americans have faith in the Supreme Court.

    • Your claim that only 25 person of Americans have faith in the Supreme Court is unsubstantiated. Please provide survey link to back up this result, as I have so many questions like was sent to a specific political party, what is the survey sample size, what was the vehicle of distribution. I see these surveys all the time on Google and ignore them.

      • Re: “…did I make anything up about Clarence Thomas?”

        Well, yes, actually. You did.
        “Harlan Crow…paying his (Thomas’) children’s private school tuition”.

        First, it was tuition for one child – not ‘children’. And it wasn’t Thomas’ child but his his sister, Emma’s, grandson, Martin, for whom Thomas gained legal custody in 1998 because Martin’s family couldn’t afford to take care of him. The school was Randolph-Macon Academy, a military boarding school.

      • Greg – thanks for providing the link to your data source which contained a thorough breakdown of the polling data with plenty of trending charts, very insightful into your argument. It only took 2 charts in to find the one labeled ‘Confidence among Democrats fell drastically in 2022’.

        The chart shows that Dem support fell from 32% in 2018(yr of the Kavanaugh hearings) to only 8% in 2022(yr of the Dobbs decision).

        The country is spilt 50/50. When half of a data set drops 24 percentage points it’s clearly going to have a significant impact on the overall average. That drop is directly tied to liberals not getting their way with the current make up of the Court. Which is the point of Mr. Roper’s column.

    • ‘I love how Roper was on the Reapportionment Board and then blames them for gerrymandering!! Way to take personal responsibility, you are to blame just as much as liberals.’

      He addressed that in his piece already. Perhaps you did not read it in its entirety.

      ‘Full disclosure, I served on the Reapportionment Board, and the partisan Democrats totally rejected the tri-partisan map put forward by the Board calling for all single member legislative districts – a concept that had overwhelming public support. So much for their love of democracy and distain for rigging the map!’

  6. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

    Re: “paying his children’s private school tuition”.

    Not quite. First it was tuition for one child – not ‘children’. And it wasn’t Thomas’ child but his ‘grandnephew’, his sister’s 6-year-old grandson. And the tuition was in the form of a scholarship, paid directly to the schools, not to Thomas.

    And in reality, Harlan Crow bought Thomas’ mother’s house – and part of the deal was that she could live there rent free, in addition to the $130 thousand+- paid for the house – a common real estate arrangement. Certainly not worth ‘millions of dollars’.

    Did Harlan Crow receive preferential treatment from Thomas? No. At worst, as reported by Forbes and Bloomberg, the Supreme Court decided not to hear a case that indirectly involved one of Crow’s real estate companies. But neither Harlan Crow, nor his company appeared anywhere in the 2004 court filings of that case. So, who was to know?

    Read the nine-page report submitted by Thomas explaining these issues.

    Perhaps Justice Thomas should have set up a bunch of shell companies to hide the Harlan Crow assistance. But then again, why would he? Nothing illegal occurred…. despite the continued exaggerations from some who want to distract readers from the real news of the day.

    Who’s been paying the $20 Million or so to the Biden family over the years? And why are the DOJ, former intelligence officials, and FBI covering up this issue?

    The great and powerful Oz has spoken.

    • I just had a bad thought. This could be Suckerman and his band of flying monkeys if he is elected. Looks like he has started his campaign with this foolishness. So, they pack the Supreme court, and a conservative wins the presidency and appoints 3 more conservative justices, then what? None of these people deserve to be in their positions. They took an oath to protect and defend the constitution, not dismantle it. And since there are 3 co-equal branches of government, how can this be done?

      • Oh Jay, a crime is still a crime, no matter where you move the goalposts. If you can’t see that you’re not looking. BTW, the sale of that house was not disclosed in 2014 even though he was required to.

        From the same document I’m assuming you found to correct me, “The outlet subsequently reported that Crow purchased three Savannah real estate properties owned by Thomas and his relatives, including his childhood home. Thomas did not disclose the real estate deals or any of the trips with Crow on his financial disclosure statements, as required when justices receive gifts valued at more than $415.” Personally, I don’t want to live in a system where the people that interpret the rules feel that they don’t have to follow them. Then again, unlike you, I’m not on a team.

        “Who’s been paying the $20 Million or so to the Biden family over the years? And why are the DOJ, former intelligence officials, and FBI covering up this issue?” Who gave Jared Kushner $2 billion? Who gave Ivanka exclusive patents in China? Where we’re different is that if Joe, Hunter, Obama are guilty of something, I want them held accountable, I don’t even like them, they are just less bad than the team you root for. As you’ve proved you can only cling to language, because you can’t refute the charges. It doesn’t matter if its a son or a nephew, that tuition was $50,000 and wasn’t reported. It came with strings attached.

        “distract readers from the real news of the day.” Is the news of the day that the Speaker of the House is going to lose his job because there is no evidence to impeach the President? That’s what’s happening outside Fox News

        “The great and powerful Oz has spoken.” Please don’t ever call anyone smug again.

      • Has NPR provided any information on Justice Roberts by chance? There are rumors he was on the Epstein’s flight logs. Has NPR filed a freedom of information act for Epstien’s client list by chance? If NPR was fair and balanced, they would lift the robes on all the Justices would they not? Being they are taxpayer funded, I would think they would actually investigate both sides of the fence would they not? Speaking of judges, Judge Joe Brown recently broke down Fulton County DA’s case against 45. The legal analysis was perfect and showed clearly Fanni pulled those indictments out of her fanny.

      • Greg, You persist in taking facts out of context.

        Re: ‘The great and powerful OZ’ remark came just after the ‘don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain’ remark. It was intended to disclose that OZ was, indeed, not great and powerful at all.

        But I digress.

        Thomas deemed the sale of his mother’s house as a ‘capital loss’. That means he invested more money into it than he received for its sale. I.E., there was no income to report. If you have a problem with that, talk to the Congress, and the IRS.

        With regard to anyone grifting in the name of ‘public service’, given due process, I say throw them all in jail. That includes Justices Thomas, Sotomayor, Kennedy, and others on the SCOTUS who have been criticized similarly.

        Of course, we’re only now in the throes of the so-called ‘Biden Family’ disclosures. Buckle your seatbelts.

        But the ‘illegality’ of your citations about justice Thomas, or anyone else, is your ‘opinion’, apparently as based on the ‘opinion’ of various media outlets. None the less, the fact remains that you did, indeed, make-up some of what you put forth here for us to read. That’s what I intended to point out – smug as that may seem to you.

  7. I like the list on ” Gaggle ” of fools that signed the letter, this is our leadership
    that we have in Vermont, fools roosting under the Golden Doom, yes doom !!!

  8. Pretty sure these legislators and the LG can be charged with sedition.
    Sedition….is inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority to destroy
    or overthrow it. It often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent toward, or insurrection against established authority. Sedition may
    include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel.
    According to 8/10/1956 ch. 1041, 70A Stat punishment for sedition is punishable
    by death or court martial. I do think that punishment is a bit harsh for this rag tag
    group but maybe loss of public office and a few months in the local community help
    center cleaning up the trash on the highways might be in order. We should check to see if we the people who really care can bring charges.

  9. Of course these signatories have no problem with their own supermajority status, being itself on a much greater level that which applies only dubiously as far as the Supreme Court goes. What’s really going on is that leftists know they can’t win in free and fair scenarios, so they constantly try to change the rules. If it were a game of cards we’d just call it cheating.

  10. FDR tried ‘packing the Supreme Court’ and was soundly defeated by common sense opponents…Suckerman tragically may succeed because Vermonters by record have lacked the sensibilities of our forefathers…

    • Voting Vermonters largely possess the sensibilities of a fruit fly – not to denigrate fruit flies, as they at least serve a purpose in nature.

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