June 28, 2022

Urging the President to Action

I wrote to President Biden today. My message may be read below.

Dear Mr. President:

Our democracy is rapidly being dismantled, engineered by a rogue Supreme Court, a feckless Senate, and aided by undemocratic structural features of our Republic. The court has undermined the wall separating church and state, gutted Miranda rights, favored gun “rights” over concerns for public safety, and, most disturbingly, consigned women to second-class citizenship. The court has not completed its reactionary program, and Congress seems unable to come to the aid of our democracy.

The upcoming midterm elections have the potential to make democracy’s plight considerably worse. History presages significant Democratic Party losses in the fall, and your personal approval rating hardly suggests otherwise.

On one hand, your anemic approval rating is unfair. Your administration can claim real accomplishments and cannot logically be blamed for high inflation. But people are justifiably dissatisfied with the status quo. They cannot banish COVID, fix supply chair problems, or roll back price increases posted primarily to increase profits. The party in power invariably takes the hit for the sort of dissatisfaction people are now feeling.

You have acted decisively in the foreign policy arena, but it is a rare voter who is much influenced by that. Alas, you have been less than resolute regarding your domestic agenda. Now, however, is the time for forceful action. Not only will that strengthen the Republic, but it will also, I suspect, increase Democratic prospects in November.

The most obvious issues to address are gun laws, abortion, and the Supreme Court itself. Having just enacted mild gun legislation, Congress is unlikely to want to revisit the matter. I urge you to lean on Congress—essentially, that means on certain Democratic senators—to pass a bill creating federal abortion rights and overriding the many restrictive laws being enacted by Republican state legislatures. This is urgent! If doing this means the filibuster must go—it does—then so be it. If serious arm-twisting is required, by all means, employ it. A majority of Americans will applaud you and may even rethink their voting for Republicans—any Republicans.

An out-of-control Supreme Court drunk with newly acquired power is a more difficult problem and a more concerning one. The most obvious corrective is to pack the court. A nine-justice court is not sacrosanct. Impeachment of some of the justices should also be considered. The charges: misleading senators about their willingness to overturn Roe and having voted to extinguish a human right acknowledged for half a century, and not enjoining laws that were clearly unconstitutional as long as Roe was still the law of the land. Given his own actions and those of his wife, there are independent reasons to want to impeach Justice Thomas.

Even if the impeachment of certain justices fails, the shot across the bow of the Good Ship Supreme Court could have a corrective effect, at least in the short term.

Please, Mr. President, show yourself to be a strong chief executive willing to take strong action to preserve our democratic Republic.

Very truly yours,

Lionel E. Deimel, Ph.D.
Indiana, Pennsylvania

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