Biden Says He Will Answer Question About Court Packing Before Election Day, But After Amy Coney Barrett Hearings
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will answer before the election whether he supports “packing” the Supreme Court, he announced at a Thursday town hall with ABC News, but only after the Senate concludes hearing from Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“There are four, five options that are available to determine whether or not you can change the way in which the court lifetime appointment takes place, consistent, arguably, with the Constitution,” Biden told moderator George Stephanopoulos. “I have not been a fan of court packing, because it just generates what will happen — whoever wins, it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable.”
Biden has said for weeks that he didn’t want to disclose how he would act on the Supreme Court until after the election. Some Democrats have called for “packing” it in the event Biden wins, or increasing the number of justices in order to fill the new positions with their nominees.
However, Biden suggested Thursday that he would form an opinion based on the Senate hearings with Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy created by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.
The Senate Judiciary Committee finished hearing from Barr on Thursday, and will vote October 22 on whether to forward her nomination to the full Senate. Observers widely expect the full chamber to confirm her to the court on October 26.
“It depends on how this turns out,” Biden said. “If there’s actually real, live debate on the floor, if people are really going to be able to have a time to go through this, you know, I don’t know anybody who has gone on the floor and just, you know, that’s been a controversial justice, in terms of making, fundamentally — altering the makeup in a court that’s gone through in a day. it depends on how much they rush this.”
Stephanopoulos pressed Biden to be specific, saying, “If they vote on it before the election, you are open to expanding the court?”
Biden declined to provide further details, responding, “I’m open to considering what happens from that point on.”
Watch above via ABC News.
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