Asked about Court-Packing, Biden Says He’ll Form ‘Bipartisan Commission’ to Study Judicial Reforms

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden makes remarks before boarding an Amtrak train in Cleveland, Ohio, September 30, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in response to a question about court-packing, said he would form a bipartisan commission to study potential court reforms during a recent interview with 60 Minutes.

In a clip of the interview with Norah O’Donnell, which will air on Sunday, Biden once again did not say whether he would add to the nine-seat Supreme Court if elected, instead saying there are “a number of alternatives” that “go well beyond packing.”

“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission of — a bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative,” the former vice president said. “And I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack, the way in which it’s being handled and it’s not about court-packing.”

“There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’d look to see what recommendations that commission might make,” he added. 

“You’re going to study this issue of whether to pack the court?” O’Donnell asked.

Biden clarified, “No … there’s a number of alternatives that are — go well beyond packing.”

You’re going to find there’s a lot of conservative constitutional scholars are saying it as well,” he said. “The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.”

Biden has declined to give his stance on court-packing repeatedly in recent weeks. When asked last week if voters “deserve to know” his position on court-packing, Biden said, “No they don’t deserve- I’m not gonna play his game. He’d love… that to be the discussion instead of what he’s doing now,” referring to President Trump.

During an ABC News town hall last week, Biden said that he would clarify his stance on court-packing ahead of the November 3 election, contingent upon how Republicans “handle” Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation process.

The Democrat said he is “not a fan” of court-packing but it “depends on how this turns out — not how he wins, but how it’s handled.”

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