Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: "You’ll know my position on court packing when the election is over"

Joe Biden again declined to say Thursday whether he would support expanding the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency and Democrats win the Senate, telling reporters that they'll find out when the election is over.

Why it matters: Some congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have suggested expanding the court if Senate Republicans confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during an election year — which they refused to do for former President Obama's nominee in 2016.

What they're saying: "You'll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over," Biden said Thursday.

  • "You know, the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that, other than focusing on what's happening now. The election has begun. There's never been a court appointment once an election has begun."

Context: President Trump and Republicans have claimed Biden would try to expand the court, despite the former vice president opposing the policy in the past. Biden, meanwhile, has remained tight-lipped on his position in recent weeks.

  • During the vice presidential debate on Wednesday, Vice President Pence criticized Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — for not clarifying the campaign's position on the issue.

The big picture: The former vice president has also remained coy on whether he would work with congressional Democrats to abolish the Senate filibuster, another drastic reform supported by some in his party. He told the New York Times in July that it will "depend on how obstreperous they become,” referring to Republicans.

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