In the wake of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, a number of Democratic Party insiders and progressive pundits have promoted the possibility of “packing” the court — expanding it with additional left-leaning appointees — if their party gains control of the Senate and White House on Election Day.
The controversial idea has led to persistent questions for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who found a new way to provide a non-answer during a recent campaign stop, as reported by National Review.
“It’s a great question”
Biden’s latest remarks on the topic came in response to a reporter’s question on Thursday, when he and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) appeared together at an event in Arizona.
“You’ll know my opinion of court-packing when the election is over,” he promised, according to National Review.
Some might find his obfuscation reminiscent of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) remark a decade ago in defense of the Affordable Care Act: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
In connection with the more recent controversy, Biden acknowledged that “it’s a great question” and that he did not “blame” the press for continuing to ask it, but suggested that his response would take the focus away from an issue he paints as more important.
“The election has begun,” he said, pivoting to the argument that the next Supreme Court nomination should be made by the winner of next month’s election.
“You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over.” pic.twitter.com/uYEXZHHAp1
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 8, 2020
Harris doubles down
Of course, Biden is not alone on the presidential ticket when it comes to skirting the topic. The night prior to his remarks in Arizona, Harris sat down across from Vice President Mike Pence for a debate in which court-packing made a prominent appearance.
Instead of responding directly when Pence brought it up, Harris also turned her attention to the Barrett nomination with a comparison to the death of a Supreme Court justice just weeks before President Abraham Lincoln was re-elected.
“Honest Abe said it’s not the right thing to do,” she said of rushing a nominee through the confirmation process, as CBS News reported. “The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States, and then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land.”
Of course, the American people also deserve to know whether a presidential candidate would support a clearly partisan power grab like packing that very same court.