Presidential nominee Joe Biden continuously refuses on taking a stand on whether he will seek to increase the number of Justices in the Supreme Court in case he wins the presidency.
The Democrat presidential nominee’s actions in swerving away from answer the issue of court-packing are becoming increasingly apparent. Instead of answering the question, Biden deals with the issue with a “wait and see” response, as seen in numerous accounts.
For instance, over the weekend, Biden told a local Las Vegas news station that “[Trump] always wants [you to] take the eye off the ball, change the subject. I’m not going to play his game,”
He was also quoted saying that voters “do not deserve to know” if he would pack the Supreme Court in case he wins. On the other hand, Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris insists that the court-packing question is simply a “distraction” from the real issues that are going on.
What is Court Packing?
Court-packing simply means expanding the court seats by adding more justices in the Supreme Court. In a literal sense, it is “packing” the high court by enlarging the number of judges from the usual number of nine justices, which has been the case ever since 1869. The seats in the Supreme Court can be filled up to as many as 15. And if you fill the high courts with more left-leaning judges, flipping it from a restrained, conservative slant to an activist, progressive one will be easier. This move is so radical that the Senate and the public had rejected it.
Biden’s “wait and see” response
As much as Biden tries to dismiss the issue of court-packing, the questions about it does not disappears. In fact, it just keeps adding fuel to the fire in these recent days. The issue has been in the front and center stage in the Sunday talk show on Fox News with Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska wherein Biden’s action of not answering the issue was called “grotesque”
The GOP Chairwomen, Ronna McDaniel also told CBS’s Face The Nation that Biden’s act of refusing to answer the question on whether he will pack the Supreme Court, upends 150 years of judicial standards.
Democrats Fire Back
During the vice presidential debate, when Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, was pressed on the issue of court-packing, she instead shifted to talking about the types of appointees that the Trump administration has made to the federal bench.
Instead of answering whether or not Biden will pack the courts in case he wins, she swerved it to answering that some of the appointees were “not competent”.
Harris also diverted the issue of court-packing by answering that there is a lack of diversity in the appointees of President Trump, saying that not one of them is black.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1983, Biden himself stated that Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the Senate a proposal to pack the court. Further saying that it was then President Roosevelt’s right to do that and that he is violating no law.
Questions about court-packing were ignited after Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s death. The issue of the Supreme Court’s potential expansion was triggered with Republicans’ immediate plans to move ahead with a nominee before the 2020 election, even though then President-Obama nominee was denied a hearing back in 2016.
Meanwhile, Send. Ed Markey, D-Mass said that Mitch McConnell set a precedent. What happened in 2016 was the precedent that no Supreme Court vacancies should be filled in an election year. He further stated that “If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, McConnell said that this year would be different since Republicans control both the Senate and the White House.
Republican majority leader made it clear that President Trump’s nomination will move forward. This then reversed the precedent that was set in 2016.
This reversal sparked outrage in the Democrats, entreating Biden to consider court-packing if he wins the Presidential election and the Democrats take the Senate.