Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his colleague, Senator Kamala Harris of California, were mother on the matter of the trial if they win the November election, but in 1983 Biden was much more open on the matter, calling it the “bonehead idea.” ”
Biden, then a US Senator from Delaware, spoke about nominations for the US Civil Rights Commission during a July 1983 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. At the time, Republican President Ronald Reagan had caused controversy for attempting to replace three members of the commission.
Biden argued at the time that while it was the President’s right to do so, it could jeopardize the Commission̵
“President Roosevelt clearly had the power to propose to the United States Senate and Congress to grab the court. It was entirely his right to do so. He didn’t break any law. It was absolutely correct legally, ”said Biden, then 40, to the committee. “But it was a mindless idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake. And for a whole decade it questioned the independence of the main body … in this country the United States Supreme Court. ”
The trial issue has been raised over the past few weeks in connection with President Donald Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Democrats have argued that the next Supreme Court Justice should be decided by the November election winner and that Barrett’s affirmation to the court – so close to the election, no less – would unfairly cement a Conservative 6-3 majority in the court.
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With only three weeks to go before the election, Republicans have used the issue as a last-minute argument for voters that a Biden government would turn norms upside down and install liberals in an expanding Supreme Court.
Under pressure to take a stand during a Phoenix campaign on Thursday, Biden said the country will “know my position on the trial when the elections are over”.
Biden revisited the court packaging issue on Saturday during an election freeze in Erie, Pennsylvania, telling reporters to focus instead on the Republicans’ efforts to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat before election day.
“Look, the only court packaging that’s running right now. The Republicans are grabbing the court now, “Biden said, arguing,” It’s not constitutional what they’re doing. “
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Both Biden and Harris have said the Senate should wait until after the election to take the seat. Biden has promised to vote for the first black justice system if given a chance. But otherwise, he and Harris try not to talk about their vision for the future of the Supreme Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.