Election 2020

Did Joe Biden Just Take Court-Packing Off the Table?

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

After days of dodging the question, Democrat nominee Joe Biden finally sort of answered the question on packing the Supreme Court. I guess he finally realized it wouldn’t go away, even if he thought voters don’t deserve to know his position. According to The Hill:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that he is “not a fan” of the idea of adding seats to the Supreme Court after repeatedly dodging questions about the issue.

“I’m not a fan of court packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused,” Biden told WKRC, a Cincinnati-area CBS/CW affiliate. “The president would like nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court, et cetera. The focus is, why is he doing what he’s doing now?”

While that was not a definitive answer, it at least gives voters an idea of his opinion on the matter. This opinion is also consistent with his past comments on court-packing. However, there are a lot of things people do that they are not a fan of. Paying taxes, cleaning toilets, and cleaning up after our dogs are all things people are not thrilled to do. Instead, they do them out of a sense of duty to others.

So the real question for Joe Biden should be, “Given you are not a fan of court-packing, would you instruct other leaders in your party to take it off the table?” Biden asserted in the first presidential debate that he “is” the Democrat Party. Whether he will use that mantle to commit to preserving the Supreme Court’s current construction is the real question.

This is especially important because his running mate has taken the complete opposite position. In an interview with The New York Times, Senator Kamala Harris said she was “absolutely open” to the idea of court-packing. According to Fox News:

New York Times reporter Alex Burns revealed the highly anticipated opinion of the Biden-Harris ticket on packing the Supreme Court.

Burns said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told him she is “absolutely open” to packing the Supreme Court. “Harris told me in an interview actually that she was absolutely open to doing that,” the reporter stated on the New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast on Thursday.

Burns noted that Joe Biden said during the Democratic primary he was against it.

At present, the ticket appears to be split. In an election where there are significant concerns about the nominee’s ability to complete a term, we also need an explicit answer from his running mate. If not, the electorate will have to take her response during the primary as final. She is willing to torpedo an entire branch of government to consolidate power.

The second half of Biden’s statement is too cute by half. He knows exactly why the president nominated Judge Barrett, and the Senate is proceeding to confirm her. When the party is the same in the White House and the Senate, this is how it goes. If the situation were reversed, Biden would not have proceeded any differently. Nor have presidents in the 19 other cases where this has happened.

It will be telling if other leading Democrats, like Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, now take court-packing off the table. The issue has the potential to fracture the caucus in the same way it split the current ticket during the primary. Biden and what is left of the moderate Democrats in power and a significant percentage of their voters shy away from radical moves like court-packing. Left-wing radicals, like Harris and a portion of the base, fully endorse them.

This is something every moderate Democrat needs to take into consideration when casting his or her vote. The current ticket really represents two parties. The one that remains if Joe Biden fails mentally, leaving Kamala Harris the party’s leader, has no place for Blue Dog or moderate members.

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