“You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over,” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Oct. 8 during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona.
Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced in September his intention to move forward with confirming President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before Election Day, liberal progressives have threatened to “pack the court” if Democrats gain control of Congress in 2021.
“If the Senate Republicans confirm Judge Barrett, Democrats must move to end the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court in the next Congress,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) posted on Twitter.
Although the Constitution does not specify a certain number of justices allowed to serve at one time on the high court, there has been a longstanding tradition of nine justices since 1869.
During the recent vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence outright asked Sen. Kamala Harris if she and Biden plan to expand the number of justices on the court if Judge Amy Coney Barret is confirmed. Harris never answered the question.
“This is a classic case of ‘if you can’t win by the rules, you’re going to change the rules,’” Pence said.
In the days after, both Biden and Harris have been cagey on the topic, with Biden telling a KTNV reporter Oct. 9 that voters “don’t deserve” to know his position on packing the Supreme Court.
But some conservatives believe that Biden and Harris’ evasion of the question is more telling than not.
“It is becoming more clear every single day that the reason Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not answer the simple question on court packing is because the answer is ‘yes,’” commented Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “It is the latest example of Joe Biden being completely beholden to the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party, the same radical activists he caved to when he endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion. It is time for Joe Biden to show transparency and admit he’s once again caved to the leftist pro-abortion extremists and will pack the court if elected.”
If Biden does indeed intend to pack the court, it would contradict the stance he took in 1983 when he called court packing a “bonehead idea.”
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in July 1983 regarding nominations to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Biden referenced President Roosevelt’s attempt to add six new justices to the Supreme Court in 1937 after the court ruled that many of his New Deal programs were unconstitutional.
“… it was a bonehead idea,” Biden said. “It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make. And it put in question, if for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body … in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”
Above: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to reporters in a hangar after he and running mate Kamala Harris arrived at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct. 8.
Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/Alamy Stock Photo