The Corner

Politics & Policy

Biden: ‘I’m Not Opposed’ to Amy Coney Barrett; She’s a ‘Very Fine Person’

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participates in the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with President Donald Trump in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

When news broke that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, there were many predictions that an effort to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with an originalist nominee would result in the ugliest confirmation battle in American history.

Those predictions were reasonable and may yet be proven right. But so far they’ve been wrong. And the looming election may be the very reason elected Democratic officials have been reluctant to personally attack Amy Coney Barrett over the last week.

I’m not opposed to the justice, she seems like a very fine person,” Joe Biden said at the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Biden stuck to his 2020 talking point that the winner of the 2020 election ought to pick the next justice, glossing over his 2016 claim that there is a “constitutional responsibility” to hold a Senate vote on a Supreme Court nominee, even after the election in a lame-duck session of Congress.

Biden mostly focused on the process argument, but he did raise the possibility that Obamacare and Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

Biden went on to say that Barrett has “written, before she went in the bench, which is her right, that she thinks that the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional.”

As Ramesh Ponnuru wrote yesterday about the current lawsuit attempting to strike down Obamacare: “There is no evidence that Barrett looks positively at this lawsuit. Biden’s statement insinuates that we can take her comments about previous cases against Obamacare to indicate her support for it. She has said that Roberts stretched the meaning of the ACA to uphold it as a tax. She’s right about that. But that view doesn’t imply that the current lawsuit should prevail.”

After raising the issue of Obamacare last night, Biden said: “The other thing that’s on the court, and if [the Affordable Care Act is] struck down, what happens? Women’s rights are fundamentally changed. Once again, a woman could pay more money because she has a pre-existing condition of pregnancy. They’re able to charge women more for the same exact procedure a man gets.”

Biden later said that Roe v. Wade was on the ballot, and Trump responded by saying: “You don’t know her view on Roe v. Wade.” Trump glossed over his 2016 statement that Roe would be overturned and abortion policy set by the states if he appointed a few Supreme Court justices.

In Tuesday night’s heated, chaotic, and ugly debate, the conversation about Amy Coney Barrett was surprisingly civil.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Film & TV

Bill Murray: The King of Cool

Bill Murray’s Bill Murray impression is priceless in On the Rocks, the way John Wayne did a fantastic John Wayne parody in True Grit and Al Pacino found a new level of Pacino-ness in Scent of a Woman. I want to quote every line of dialogue Murray delivers in his new movie for Apple TV+ -- every hilarious piece ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More
Books

Orwell, Huxley, and Us

To hear some people tell it, America entered a dystopia long before the coronavirus and measures undertaken to combat it altered everyday life almost to the point of unrecognizability. As for which dystopia, and when, well — that depends on whom one asks. For many on the left, the annus horribilis was 2016, ... Read More