Just 1 in 3 U.S. voters support packing the Supreme Court with justices — a practice the Democratic presidential ticket has repeatedly refused to provide a public stance on — if Republicans were to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election, according to a new poll by The Washington Examiner/YouGov.
According to The Washington Examiner, 34% of all U.S. voters support the idea of Democrats packing the nation’s highest court if Republicans were to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and the Democrats were to enter the Senate with a new majority and take over the White House.
Democrats made up a significant portion of the voters in favor of court-packing, constituting 60% of respondents who expressed interest in court-packing. Meanwhile, 47% of all U.S. voters are against it.
While 32% of Independent voters support packing the Supreme court, only 5% of Republicans support the idea. On the other hand, 19% of registered voters don’t have a stance on the issue.
It appears voters who told the pollster they don’t have a stance on the issue have something in common with the Democratic nominee, who has also declined to say whether he would pack court as retaliation for Republicans confirming Barrett.
During the presidential debate against President Donald Trump last week, Biden refused to answer whether he would support court-packing in response to a Barrett appointment, saying whatever position he was to take would become “the issue.”
Pressed on the issue more recently by a local reporter, who told Biden that viewers wanted his stance on court-packing, Biden once again refused, saying of Republicans: “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,” he 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.”
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), the vice presidential nominee for the Democrats, has also refused to talk about court-packing, despite endorsing an everything-is-on-the-table-approach to the Supreme Court only last year to Politico.
During the vice presidential debate on Wednesday evening, Harris declined to answer Pence’s question whether the Democratic ticket supported court-packing, instead offering a story about Abraham Lincoln and election-year Supreme Court nominees that turned out to not be applicable to the situation, according to The Washington Post.
When pressed again, Harris then seemed as if she would answer the question, but instead made a point about racial diversity in the Trump administration’s Circuit Court of Appeals judge nominations, saying: “Do you know that of the 50 people who President Trump appointed to the Court of Appeals for lifetime appointments, not one is black. This is what they’ve been doing. You wanna talk about packing a court? Let’s have that discussion.”
The Washington Examiner poll consisted of 1,200 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3.5%.
The confirmation hearings for Barrett will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 12, despite several attempts by Senate Democrats to delay the proceedings for various reasons, including the need to perform coronavirus testing and the claim that lifetime appointment proceedings shouldn’t be done without everyone present — meaning senators shouldn’t video call into the hearing.