Democratic nominee Joe Biden refused to answer whether, if elected president, he would stack the Supreme Court with liberal justices after getting pressed by a local Pennsylvania reporter, who noted that the viewers of the station wanted to know where he stood.
“So Pittsburgh’s Action News-4 viewers are not shy about letting me know what they want me to ask you. One thing they want me to ask you is a question that came up during the debate, and that is: If you’re president, would you seek to increase the number of U.S. Supreme Court nominees,” asked the Pittsburgh Action News-4 reporter.
As he did during the presidential debate, Biden refused to answer the question, instead saying: “That’s exactly what they want me to talk about, so we don’t talk about how they’re violating the Constitution now.”
“I’m not going to play Trump’s game,” Biden promptly added. “Right now, my entire focus is seeing to it that the American people get a chance — the elections already started — [and] have their say on who the next Supreme Court justice is. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Asked how Republicans are violating the Constitution, Biden touted his experience teaching Constitutional law and argued Americans “get an opportunity to choose who they want the Supreme Court by who they pick as their senator and their president.”
“It’s always appropriate for a president and a senator, the senate, to make a judgement except once an election is started,” said Biden. “People have already voted. They should wait to see the outcome of the election, and if the president is re-elected, he should have his nominee heard. [If] he’s not, I should get to pick that nominee.”
After the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) immediately endorsed the idea of packing the Supreme Court if President Donald Trump successfully filled the new vacancy before next year.
“Mitch McConnell won’t back down, and neither will we,” said Markey. “We can defeat him if we mobilize and organize. That is why we must make it absolutely clear that if McConnell attempts to fill this seat, we will abolish the filibuster and expand the court when we retake the Senate.”
We can defeat him if we mobilize and organize. That is why we must make it absolutely clear that if McConnell attempts to fill this seat, we will abolish the filibuster and expand the court when we retake the Senate.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020
Senate Democrats have since backed down from the idea amidst pressure from moderates in the party and fears that focusing on court-packing ahead of the election could backfire on them, according to The Hill.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), despite endorsing the everything-is-on-the-table approach to Politico last year, has also resisted answering questions about court-packing, deferring to her running mate Joe Biden’s non-response.
“You know, let’s. I think that — first of all — Joe has been very clear that he is going to pay attention to the fact, and I’m with him on this 1,000 percent, pay attention to the fact that right now, Lawrence, people are voting,” said Harris, reports New York Post.
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