Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday once again evaded the question of whether or not he would support efforts to expand the Supreme Court, saying instead that voters should focus on the “court packing” that Republicans are doing in pushing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett ahead of the election.
Biden’s convenient change of the definition of court packing came when Ohio’s Local 12 news station asked about whether he would add seats to the nine-seat court, and pressed the Democrat to answer for the sake of “undecided voters who want to know your position on expanding the court before they cast their ballot.”
The former vice president said he wants voters to focus on “the court packing [that] is going on now.”
“Never before when an election has already begun and millions of votes are already cast has it ever been that a Supreme Court nominee was put forward — had never happened before,” he said. “One of the reasons is the constitution implies that the only shot the American people get to determine who will be on the lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court or federal courts is when they pick their senator and their president.”
“I’m not a fan of court packing but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue,” he added. “The president would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court.”
Biden said the focus should be on why the president nominated Barrett so close to Election Day
“Why now, with less than 24 days to go in the election, and the hearings going to take place and only going to be 10 days or whatever it is before the vote takes place? That’s the court packing the public should be focused on,” he said.
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.”
Biden and other Democrats, including his running mate Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Senator Chris Coons (D, Del.) have worked to convince the public that the real example of court packing is Republicans confirming judges to the courts, and not, in fact, expanding the Supreme Court for political expediency as it is presently defined.
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Sunday called the language “Orwellian.”
“What they’re talking about is blowing up the deliberative structure of the United States Senate by abolishing the filibuster and making it possible to turn the Senate into just another House of Representatives where every two years by a 51-49 or 49-51 majority major portions of American life change. And they’re going about doing that to pack the Supreme Court,” he said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.