President Donald Trump has now named 45 possible nominees that he would consider as Supreme Court justices.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has refused to name any of his picks so far, and it’s likely to stay that way. On Sunday, Biden announced his reasons for not publishing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees before being elected.
During the 2016 election, the Supreme Court was a major factor. Justice Antonin Scalia had died in the spring of 2016, leaving a vacancy on the high court.
Whoever won was going to get their nominee put to the Senate for confirmation as soon as they took office — and voters were eager to know what kind of nominees each candidate was considering.
Trump was very upfront about who he considered worthy of such a position and submitted his list of candidates before election day.
He has done so again this year, adding 20 more names to the list. And with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last week, a Supreme Court vacancy is once again a focal point of the presidential election.
Biden’s lack of transparency
Taking the high road, Biden claims he will seek counsel from the U.S. Senate before making a decision. But does anyone really believe that if the Republicans still control the Senate and the majority recommendation is someone like Judge Barbara Lagoa, that Biden would still nominate her?
Biden also argued that publishing the names now would put those individuals at risk. “First, putting a judge’s name on a list like that could influence that person’s decision making as a judge, and that would be wrong, or at least create the perception that it would have influence,” Biden said.
“Second, anyone put on a list like that under these circumstances would be subject to unrelenting political attacks, because any nominee I would select would not get a hearing until 2021 at the earliest. She would endure those attacks for months on end without being able to defend herself,” he added.
Even though Biden and Obama tried to force through a nomination in 2016, Biden is trying to make the case that it is an abuse of power for Trump to do so now. “To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise in raw political power,” Biden said. “I don’t believe the people of this nation will stand for it.”
Biden must have forgotten what he said in 2016: “The president has the constitutional duty to nominate; the Senate has the constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent. It is written plainly in the Constitution that both presidents and senators swear an oath to uphold and defend.”