In an ABC News town hall on Thursday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden again refused to answer the question of whether or not he supported packing the U.S. Supreme Court, and he falsely claimed that Trump’s Supreme Court nomine, Amy Coney Barrett, did not lay out a judicial philosophy. While he repeated that he has “not been a fan of Court-packing,” he said, “It depends on how this turns out.” He also repeated the tired line that if he gave a definitive position, that would become the story and a distraction from the election.
The nominee suggested that he would support adding seats to the Supreme Court unless “there’s actually real-live debate on the floor” of the Senate.
Biden argued that “it is inconsistent… to put someone on the Court” after Americans had started voting early in the 2020 election. He suggested that Trump no longer has the right or the duty to nominate Supreme Court justices because some Americans have voted early.
The process to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “should have been held until the next election is over,” Biden argued.
The Democratic nominee also attacked Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg, Amy Coney Barrett, for refusing to answer many policy questions.
“I don’t even think she has laid out much of a judicial philosophy,” he said of Barrett, faulting her for not supporting “unenumerated rights” — presumably a reference to abortion and same-sex marriage.
Asked what he would say to LGBTQ Americans and others who are worried "about erosions of their rights," former VP Biden says "I think there's great reason to be concerned for the LGBTQ community, something I fought very hard for." https://t.co/JEyTOkB6qk #BidenTownHall pic.twitter.com/BnZ8XSOJSA
— ABC News (@ABC) October 16, 2020
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Contrary to Biden’s suggestions, Barrett has been extremely clear about her judicial philosophy of originalism. She opposes the kind of activist judicial sorcery by which previous Supreme Courts invented new “rights” and twisted the Constitution in order to claim that the rights to abortion and same-sex marriage were hidden behind the text.
As for Barrett’s refusal to discuss policy, she was following the Ginsburg rule, which Biden himself supported.
Biden’s refusal to commit to a position on packing the Supreme Court is disgusting and terrifying. The Democratic nominee has made it clear he is open to fundamentally changing the Supreme Court in order to flood it with far-left justices.
The Democrat has said Americans will learn his opinion on Court-packing “when the election is over,” and he argued that voters “do not deserve” to know his opinion.
On Thursday night, however, he promised that voters would know his position before Election Day.
#BREAKING: Even though he reiterates he's still "not a fan" of court-packing, Biden opens the door to the idea of "other alternatives" and policies regarding the future of the Supreme Court.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 16, 2020
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.