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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden argues that a stance on whether or not he would try to increase the number of Supreme Court justices as president would play right into President Trump’s hands.
“”[Trump] always want [you to] Take your eye off the ball, change the subject. I’m not going to play his game, “Biden told a local Las Vegas news station over the weekend.
On Thursday, reporters in Arizona asked Biden the same thing: “[Voters will] I will know my opinion on the trial when the election is over. It’s a great question and I’m not blaming you for asking it, but you know, once I answer that question, the heading will be about it in every one of your articles. “
However, it is becoming increasingly clear that simply dismissing the problem with a wait-and-see response does not mean the question disappears from the campaign.
If anything, it has just added fuel to the political fire in the past few days.
The topic was the focus of the talk shows on Sunday. Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse called Biden’s non-response “grotesque” Fox News Sunday.
“He refuses to answer if he’ll grab the Supreme Court, which is 150 years of our judicial standards,” GOP chairman Ronna McDaniel told CBS. Face the nation.
Democrats have shot back in a number of ways.
When Biden’s deputy, California Senator Kamala Harris, pushed the issue during the vice-presidential debate, she instead spoke about the type of candidates Trump put on the Bundesbank, calling some “incompetent” and “purely ideological”.
She also questioned their lack of diversity.
“Of the 50 people President Trump has called to the Court of Appeal for life-long appointments, none are black,” Harris added.
On too Fox News SundayChris Coons, Senator from Delaware, a close ally of Biden, said the hasty way Republicans seek to uphold Judge Amy Coney Barrett before the Supreme Court election is “a trial.”
Typically, court packing refers to expanding the seats of a court and then approving the judges for those seats.
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that the “intent” of the constitutional process was at the heart of the problem.
“The American people are being denied the opportunity to have a say in who will receive this lifelong court appointment,” she said, referring to the Republican efforts to validate Barrett just weeks after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
But, as Tapper pointed out, Biden’s designation of GOP attempts to advance Barrett’s endorsement as “unconstitutional” is wrong, as there is nothing in the Constitution to prevent the Senate from advancing the nomination of a president.
Biden himself said so during a 1983 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing denouncing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s efforts to expand the court.
“Roosevelt clearly had the right to propose to the United States Senate to grab the court,” Biden said. “It was entirely his right to do that. He didn’t break any law, he was perfectly legalistically correct, but it was a mindless idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake that was being questioned for a whole decade. the independence of the main body: the Supreme Court of the United States of America. “
It’s a stance he wanted to repeat during the busy season when he again turned down the idea during a debate, citing future republican retaliation.
“I wouldn’t pack in court,” Biden said in October. “We add three judges. Next time we lose control, they add three judges. We are gradually losing any credibility that the court has.”
Shortly after Ginsburg’s death, however, questions sparked about the possible expansion of the country’s Supreme Court, and Republicans were quick to plan to propose a candidate as soon before the election, despite denying a hearing to Merrick Garland, then President Barack Obama, who was nominated in 2016 .
Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No vacancies were filled at the Supreme Court in an election year. If he breaks and the Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we need to get rid of the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
– Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) September 19, 2020
“Mitch McConnell set the precedent. There were no Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Wrote in September. “If he goes against it, if Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we have to get rid of the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
The Republican majority leader quickly made it clear that Trump’s nomination would move forward and reversed the precedent he set in 2016. (McConnell says this year is different because Republicans control both the Senate and the White House.)
His reversal sparked outrage in the Democratic Party, and progressives asked Biden to consider expanding the court if he wins in November, and Democrats take over the Senate.