Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden said that the issue of whether he supports packing the Supreme Court is a “legitimate question” for journalists to ask, but he is not going to answer the question.
A local Wisconsin news station asked Biden if he was elected president and the Democrats gained back control of the Senate, would he support adding more seats to the Supreme Court.
“It’s a legitimate question,” Biden responded. “But let me tell you why I’m not going to answer that question: Because it will shift the whole focus. That’s what he wants. He never wants to talk about the issue at hand. He always tries to change the subject. But let’s say I answer that question, then the whole debate’s going to be: well, Biden said or didn’t say. Biden said he would or wouldn’t.”
Biden’s remarks come just over 40 days from the election and as voters increasingly focus on where candidates stand on issues so they can make informed decisions election day.
“However, the subject of adding more members to the court has been increasingly raised by Democrats infuriated that Republicans who control the Senate would vote to fill the vacancy left by the Friday death of the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, just days before the election,” Politico reported. “Even before Ginsburg’s death, Democrats began warming to the idea of packing the Supreme Court. They included Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s now Biden’s running mate.”
Joe Biden on court packing: “It’s a legitimate question… I’m not going to answer that question.”
Biden owes the American people an answer on court packing.
And Biden owes the American people a list of his potential Supreme Court picks. pic.twitter.com/vkPkblWHlM
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 22, 2020
The idea of packing the Supreme Court is so radical that even progressive Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died last week — rejected the idea as recently as a year ago, calling it a “bad idea.”
“There is no fixed number in the Constitution, so this court has had as few as five and as many as 10. Nine seems to be a good number and it’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg said in a 2019 interview with NPR. “I have heard that there are some people on the Democratic side who would like to increase the number of judges. I think that was a bad idea when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to pack the court, his plan was for every justice who stays on the court past the age of 70, the president would have the authority to nominate another justice. If that plan had been effective, the court’s number would have swelled immediately from nine to 15 and the president would have six appointments to make.”
“You mentioned before the court appearing partisan, well if anything would make the court appear partisan, it would be that — one side saying, ‘when we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we want to have more people who will vote the way we want them to,’” Ginsburg added. “So, I am not at all in favor of that solution to what I see as a temporary situation.”
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