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Biden Says He’ll Clarify Court-Packing Stance before Election — with a Catch

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden approaches his seat ahead of an ABC Town Hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pa., October 15, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said on Thursday 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.

Biden’s comments came during an ABC News Town Hall, during which host George Stephanopoulos pressed the former vice president on his increasingly elusive stance on the topic.

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.”

“If there is actually real live debate on the floor, if people are really going to be able to have the time to go through this,” he said. “I don’t know anybody who’s gone on the floor who has been a controversial justice in terms of fundamentally altering the makeup of the court that’s gone through in a day kind of thing.”

“It depends on how much they rush this,” he said. 

When Stephanopoulos asked what his position would be should a vote be held around Halloween, as planned, Biden said he is “open to considering what happens from that point on.”

Asked if voters have the right to know where he stands on the topic ahead of Election Day, Biden said, “They do have a right to know where I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote.”

He then clarified saying he would unveil his position “depending on how they handle this.”

Biden has declined to give his stance on adding to the nine-seat court 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.

He also said this week that voters should focus on the “court packing” that Republicans are doing in pushing to confirm Barrett ahead of the election.

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