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President Trump said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has “zero chance” of resisting fellow Democrats who want to “pack” the Supreme Court and said that would “permanently destroy” America’s highest court.
Trump said Democrats have not learned the lesson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who sought to pack the court in the 1930s in an attempt to get new ones who would support his New Deal plan.
“FDR’s own party told him you cannot PACK the United States Supreme Court, it would permanently destroy the Court,” Trump wrote Saturday on Twitter. “But now the Radical Left Democrats are pushing Biden to do this. He has zero chance against them!”
In 1937, Roosevelt tried to add justices to the court. “Largely seen as a political ploy to change the court for favorable rulings on New Deal legislation, the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, commonly referred to as the ‘court-packing plan,’ was Roosevelt’s attempt to appoint up to six additional justices to the Supreme Court for every justice older than 70 years, 6 months, who had served 10 years or more,” History.com reported.
FDR’s plan would have added one justice to the court for each justice over the age of 70. Justices and top Democratic lawmakers opposed FDR’s proposal and Congress never held a formal vote on the issue.
The U.S. Constitution set up America’s high court but did not establish how many justices should serve, leaving that up to Congress. The Judiciary Act of 1789 put the number at six; that number rose to seven in 1807 and to nine in 1837. The number rose to 10 in 1863, then dropped back down to seven in 1866. In 1869, Congress raised the number of justices to nine, where it has stood ever since.
After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last month, Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whose confirmation hearing process for is scheduled to begin on Monday. Democrats, including Biden, have declared that replacing Ginsberg should wait until after the Nov. 3 presidential election, citing Republicans who made the same demand when then-president Barack Obama sought to replace Justice Antonin Scalia during an election year.
Biden has repeatedly refused to answer whether he would pack the court, saying that doing so would overtake the news cycle and make the story about him, not Trump. On Thursday, Biden said, “you’ll know my position on court-packing the day after the election.”
He went further on Friday, asserting that voters don’t deserve to know if he would attempt to pack the court if he wins in November, and Barrett is confirmed.
a KTNV reporter asked him whether he backs court-packing, to which Biden said: “This is the number one thing that I’ve been asked about from viewers in the past couple of days.”
“Well, sir don’t the voters deserve to know…?” reporter Ross DiMattei asked.
“No, they don’t… I’m not gonna’ play his game, he’d love me to talk about, and I’ve already said something on court-packing, he’d love that to be the discussion instead of what he’s doing now,” Biden said.