Democrat White House hopeful Joe Biden said last week that voters don’t deserve to know where he stands on the issue of court-packing — i.e., expanding the size of the Supreme Court so as to alter its political make-up, a notion that has gained popularity since President Donald Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat once held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Now, however, Biden has flipped his stance, saying Thursday that American voters do, in fact, “have a right to know” where he stands before they hit the polls on Nov. 3, as Fox News reports.
Biden and court-packing
The comments from the former vice president came during his Thursday town hall with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.
There, Biden said he has “not been a fan of court-packing,” but nevertheless left the door open to supporting such a move, depending on how Senate Republicans handle Barrett’s ongoing confirmation process.
“If I answer the question directly, then all the focus will be on what’s Biden going to do if he wins instead of, ‘Is it appropriate what’s going on now?'” Biden told Stephanopoulos when asked where he stood on the controversial subject, according to USA Today.
The Democrat’s non-answer is consistent with his efforts over the past several weeks to avoid being pinned down one way or the other on the hot topic when pressed by reporters.
But while the bulk of the media seem content with that vague response, it remains to be seen how voters will feel about it.
“I’m open to considering”
To his credit, Stephanopoulos actually seemed to press Biden for a more specific answer Thursday night, and even asked the former VP directly if he’d be open to packing the court if Barrett were confirmed by Republicans ahead of the election.
“I’m open to considering what happens from that point on,” Biden replied, according to CNBC.
Asked if voters have the right to know his position, Biden said, “They do and they have a right to know where I stand before they vote.” But only time will tell if the former VP will ever offer up the clear and direct answer he’s been promising.
Pressed repeatedly by @GStephanopoulos on his position on court packing, Joe Biden says, “I’m not a fan … it depends on how this turns out,” adding that it depends on how Republicans handle the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. https://t.co/JEyTOkB6qk pic.twitter.com/rpcrzh5aRO
— ABC News (@ABC) October 16, 2020