Biden’s commission on SCOTUS reform a ‘frontal attack’ on court’s independence
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Republicans and pro-life leaders have warned that Joe Biden’s proposed bipartisan commission to recommend reforms of the Supreme Court is an attempt to hide his intention of packing the court.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life association Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, reminded pro-life voters of the dire consequences of a Democrat win on election day, November 3.
“Make no mistake: Biden and Harris are running out the clock until Election Day, determined to expand the Supreme Court if they win,” she said in a Thursday press release.
“Their goal is to destroy the third branch of government in order to permanently enshrine abortion on demand through birth, paid for by taxpayers.”
Moreover, commentators across the political spectrum have blasted Biden’s assertion that potential SCOTUS reforms could go “well beyond court packing,” characterizing it as a “frontal attack” on the court’s independence and a “cave to the radical left.”
In a clip of a 60 Minutes interview released Thursday, Biden said he will give a “bipartisan commission of scholars” 180 days to “come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack.” (The full interview will air Sunday.)
“And it’s not about court packing,” Biden said. “There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.”
“There’s a number of alternatives that are — go well beyond packing,” he added. “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.”
The implications of Biden’s proposal drew a sharp warning from Steve Guest, the Republican National Committee’s Rapid Response Director, who tweeted Biden “caves to the radical left, gets on board with destroying the Judicial branch.”
Joe Biden caves to the radical left, gets on board with destroying the Judicial branch: “Go well beyond [court] packing.” pic.twitter.com/KBeuav3gEK— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 22, 2020
Hugh Hewitt, an NBC/MSNBC News contributor and Washington Post contributing columnist, likewise denounced the idea.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted that Biden’s proposed commission was “Truly radical … Our constitutional rights hang in the balance, and we are One Vote Away.”
His colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Biden’s proposed six-month bipartisan commission makes “zero sense constitutionally” and that the Democrats are aiming for court-packing.
“I’ve known Joe for 25 years. What he said, to me, was just gibberish. I don’t know what it means,” he told Fox & Friends on Thursday.
“Here’s what is going to happen. If they get the House, the Senate, and the White House, they’re going to expand the Supreme Court,” said Graham, adding that if elected, Biden will do the bidding of his party and its supporters.
“He’s no more in charge of the Democratic Party than I am,” the Republican senator contended. “Voters, if you don’t get that, you’re making a mistake …”
“Court-packing” refers to expanding the number of Supreme Court justices to rig outcomes in the president’s favor, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously attempted in hopes of stopping the court from striking down his New Deal economic policies.
Current Democrats and their supporters have called for doing the same if they regain power, particularly as a response to the impending confirmation of President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
However, polls commissioned by both the left and the right show that the majority of Americans oppose the move, and Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris have come under fire for dodging the hot-button issue during their campaign.
Now, Biden’s first relatively definitive statement on the subject has been criticized by Democrats as a “punt,” and by Republicans as yet another dodge, according to Politico.
“I don’t know why he wouldn’t just have the guts to say he wants to pack the court, because I think his base clearly wants to pack the court,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Politico. “It’s totally disingenuous.”
SBA List’s Dannenfelser also slammed Biden’s proposal to form a commission as his “latest punt” and “intentionally unclear, designed to confuse voters.”
According to the SBA List’s newly commissioned poll by Marist conducted between October 14-15, nearly two in three voters (61 percent) — including 63 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats — oppose Biden adding more justices to the Supreme Court if elected.
Similarly, an October 15-18 New York Times-Siena College poll found that 58 percent of “likely voters” oppose court expansion in contrast to the 31 percent who approve it, the New York Times reported.
“A majority of Democrats supported the idea — 57 percent to 28 percent — but that is far short of the backing such legislation would need to pass,” the article stated.
Both Biden and Harris are endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Biden, who claims to be Catholic, supports “codifying” Roe in federal law; repealing the Hyde Amendment (which bars direct public funding of most abortions); forcing states to accept Medicare funding for Planned Parenthood; reversing the Mexico City Policy (which bars federal funds from supporting abortion overseas); and directing the Justice Department to “do everything in its power” to block virtually all state pro-life laws, including parental notification requirements, ultrasound laws, and waiting periods.
LifeSite’s Calvin Freiburger contributed to this report.