Court-packing involves expanding the number of justices on the nation’s highest court and filling the new seats with liberals to overcome the current conservative majority. It was rejected the last time it was proposed, in the 1930s.
Biden has remained vague on court-packing since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. In Arizona, he tried to frame the issue as something only the media cared about.
“Look, I know it’s a great question for you all and I don’t blame you for asking,” he said, “but you know the moment I answer that question the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.”
The Democrat nominee added that focus should remain on the fact that the “election has begun” and “there has never been a court appointment once an election has begun.”
Biden’s comments come as Democrats are mobilizing to keep President Donald Trump from filling Ginsburg’s seat on the Court. The move, in part, is strategic, as many fear that a Trump appointee will cement a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court for the foreseeable future.
To prevent such an outcome, Democrats are attempting to obstruct the congressional confirmation process until January, in hopes that Biden will win the upcoming election and be able to propose his own candidate.
As part of the effort, Senate Democrats are threatening to pack the court if Republicans move forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination.
“If Sen. McConnell and [the] Senate GOP were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session–before a new Senate and president can take office–then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
said earlier this month.