Democrats have now taken over the entire federal government. These are not your father’s Democrats.
Here are things they can now do to cement themselves in power for at least a generation:
• End the Senate Filibuster Rule. That requires 60 votes to pass many laws. But it is not in the Constitution. It is just a Senate rule and can be eliminated by a mere 50 votes, the number they now have, and the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Harris.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has said he would not support ending the filibuster rule. So has Biden. But I doubt they can withstand the extreme pressure that will descend upon them to end it. WV is the reddest state in the Union. Theoretically, Manchin might change parties as Democrat House member Jeff Van Drew (Wildwood, NJ) did in 2018. He was re-elected as a Republican in 2020.
With that new power, they can do the following:
• Make DC a state. DC is already in the electoral college with three votes because of the Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) which extended the right to vote in presidential elections to DC citizens. The amendment gave DC three electoral college votes. It was ratified by the requisite number of states on March 29, 1961. DC is hyperpartisan Democrat. In the two worst Democrat defeats in history, 1972 and 1984, the Dems only won one state, and DC.
Making DC a state makes the senate 102 members of which the Dems would then have 52 senators to the GOP’s 50. It would also add one Democrat representative to the House of Representatives.
• Packing the courts. The Supreme Court now has six justices appointed by GOP presidents and three appointed by Democrat presidents. They are appointed for life. But the court having nine members is not in the Constitution. That number is in a mere statute—the Judiciary Act of 1869—and those can be changed by a simple majority 50 votes plus the VP breaking the tie.
So the Democrats can, after ending the filibuster rule, increase number of justices on the Supreme Court by four or more. Four would make the Court have 13 justices, a majority of which (seven), would have been appointed by Democrat president Biden.
Four-term Democrat President FDR tried this in his Judicial Procedures Reform Act of 1937. It would have let FDR add a justice for every sitting justice who became 70 1/2 up to six additional justices.
He had massive majorities in both house because of the Great Depression. But the public was horrified by the idea and Congress defeated it. However, I do not think either the public or the Democrats in Congress would do that now. Raw power decides now, not tradition.
The Democrats could also pack the other two levels of federal courts: appellate courts and district courts in the same way.
• Make Puerto Rico a state. 52.3% of Puerto Rican voters requested statehood on Nov. 3, 2020. They are now a territory. Congress can add new states to the Union, via an Admission Act or House Resolution that requires approval by a simple majority in the House and Senate.
Making Puerto Rico a state would give Democrats two more Senators (a 54 to 50 majority in a 104 member Senate) and about four more representatives in the House of Representatives. Puerto Ricans in the US generally vote Democrat.
• Give 22 million illegals citizenship and the right to vote. Again, without the filibuster rule, this would only require a simple majority in Congress. 61% of the US in now non-Hispanic whites. Latinos are 18% and African-Americans are 13.4%. Adding 22 million illegals would take them to about 27% of voters and reduce the percentages of white and African voters. Latinos are about 80% Democrat. Biden has said he would do this.
• Open the borders. Millions more Latinos would be allowed in by Biden and also get citizenship and the right to vote.
• Pack the House. The House started out with 65 members and moved up to 435. That number is in the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, another mere statute that can be changed by a majority vote in Congress.
Increasing the number of house members increases the number of electoral votes of the states who get more House members. The number of Senators per state is locked at two in the Constitution, which can only be changed by amendment ratified by 38 states. The new Democrats cannot get 38 states to ratify anything. But with the number of electoral college votes from the House unlimited and the number of Senate electoral votes limited to two per state by the Constitution, increasing the size of the House would water down the effect of the Senate electoral votes and make it next to impossible for a presidential candidate to lose the national popular vote, but win the electoral college, as Trump and Bush II did.
This would have the effect of undoing the Connecticut Compromise made by the Founding Fathers. At the founding, populous states wanted just the House type of representation based on population. Small states wanted just the Senate type representation—each state gets the same number of senators.
The Connecticut Compromise was having both types of representation. If you expand the size of the House of Representatives, the nation will be run by and for California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. The other states will pay the bills, but have little say about where the money is spent.