So far we have only questions about who will fill the position in the Supreme Court if Biden wins and Trump fails to appoint his nominee!
Both Biden and Harris have answered the question—just not in a way that satisfies myopic campaign reporters.
Biden, to be fair, did himself no favors by playing coy. “You’ll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over” is not a satisfactory answer. Still, it’s not exactly a dodge, either. It is, in fact, a neat summation of his campaign’s actual position. Republicans, right now, are racing to fill a Supreme Court vacancy that opened up after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, only 45 days before the presidential election.
Biden didn’t answer a question about the issue during the first presidential debate on September 29, nor did his running mate, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris, when asked by Republican Vice President Mike Pence during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.
Today Biden went one step further he said that the American people don’t deserve to know his position on packing the Supreme Court.
wow… the voters dont deserve to know? https://t.co/ppMWsdtOlP
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) October 10, 2020
The Biden campaign’s position is that the next president should fill the current vacancy. “The American people are voting right now, and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime,” Harris said in Wednesday’s debate. When Biden says that you’ll know his opinion after the election, he means that his position is dependent on whether or not the Senate confirms Barrett before the election or, should Biden win, during the lame duck. If Barrett’s nomination is for some reason abandoned and Biden wins, it’s safe to assume that judicial reform, let alone outright court-packing, will not be at the top of his agenda.
But if Barrett is confirmed and the court has a 6–3 supermajority of conservatives, two of whom were nominated under at best highly sketchy circumstances, Biden is keeping his options open. “You’ll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over” is both Biden’s actual position and a perfectly reasonable one to take, given the circumstances. What a President Biden would do is dependent on what happens between now and his inauguration. By keeping the question open, Biden is also answering it: Everything, including court-packing, is on the table if Barrett goes through.
Biden has previously opposed court-packing. In July 2019, during the Democratic presidential primaries, Biden said he opposed expanding the nation’s highest court, and he also opposed it during a primary debate in October 2019. In a 2005 speech discussing former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempt to expand the court to 15 justices in 1937, Biden called the move a “power grab.”
“You’ll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over,” Biden told reporters on Thursday. “It’s a great question, and I don’t blame you for asking. But you know, the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be on the answer to that question.”
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Conservative US, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Supreme Insider. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!