‘Well beyond’ court packing: Biden proposes commission to transform Supreme Court
October 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In an apparent attempt to defuse lingering question as to whether he would “pack” the Supreme Court as president, Democrat nominee Joe Biden will establish a “bipartisan commission of scholars” to propose ways to “reform” the federal judiciary, if elected.
“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. Modern 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.
In a new interview with 60 Minutes, the former vice president said he will ask a “bipartisan commission of scholars” to “come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack.”
“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.”
For weeks, Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) have come under fire for their refusal to say whether they support court-packing. Earlier this month, Biden said voters will “know my opinion on court packing” when the election is over, and “don’t deserve” to know beforehand. His latest proposal appears to be an attempt to satisfy those in his base who want court-packing without explicitly endorsing the practice, which has outraged even some moderates.
“Truly radical,” responded Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has proposed a constitutional amendment to lock the number of Supreme Court justices at its current number of nine. “Our constitutional rights hang in the balance, and we are One Vote Away.”