The Corner

Law & the Courts

Joe Biden Better Have an Answer on Court-Packing Tonight

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg made a pre-debate appearance on Fox News’s The Story with Martha MacCallum to do some typical surrogacy work for the Biden campaign. It was a mostly milquetoast appearance except for MacCallum and Buttigieg’s exchange on court-packing, an idea touted by Buttigieg during his own primary campaign. Both Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, have dodged questions about whether they would back such an effort if elected.

Buttigieg did the same, dismissing it as “obscure” and “academic” while insisting that Democrats were focused on preventing Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from reaching the Supreme Court. It’s anything but an obscure academic footnote though, it would be an enormously impactful action — one that would likely define a Biden presidency — and it’s been embraced by Democrats in both chambers of Congress. The last time it was tried, it was seen as a shameless power-grab; The American people consented to four terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but not to his efforts to pack the Court. So far, Biden and his team have been able to dance around the question of whether he supports it, but I doubt Chris Wallace will let him get away with that tonight.

The Latest