October 13th, 2020
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Biden again deflects questions on Supreme Court expansion

Ø  Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hasn’t been answering whether or not he would expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court after he wins the election.

Ø  Biden refused to answer the same question on Friday as well, when a KTNV reporter asked about it, saying "This is the number one thing that I've been asked about from viewers in the past couple of days.”

Ø  “Well you’ve been asked by the viewers who are probably Republicans who don't want me continuing to talk about what they’re doing to the court right now,” Biden replied, adding, “you’ll know my position on court-packing the day after the election.”

Ø  When the reported asked “don’t the voters deserve to know…?” Biden said, “no they don’t.... I'm not gonna play his game, he’d love me to talk about…”

Ø  Even though Biden is not answering the question, the question did came up during the Sunday talk shows. On Fox News Sunday, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska called Biden's non-answer "grotesque."

Ø  Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, also didn’t answer the question during the vice presidential debate. When pressed on the issue, Harris diverted the talks on the types of appointees Trump has made to the federal bench. She even called some of the appointees as "not competent" and "purely ideological."

View Analysis



Left View

Pack the Courts!  

Is Biden deflecting the question of packing the Supreme Court, or is he just taking a play from the Donald Trump handbook? It seems when approached with the same tactics, Republicans like to call foul. I do think that Joe Biden should answer the question of whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court. It seems like in not answering the question he has answered, yes they will pack the Supreme Court. Biden and Harris should both be honest with their intentions on handling the Supreme Court. With that said, I, and many others, would be supportive of packing the Supreme Court given the actions of the Republican Party in recent years.

The Republicans stole the Supreme Court pick from Obama, refusing to see Merrick Garland through because of the impending election. When Republicans were faced with the same situation this election year they have completely ignored the rules they previously claimed to uphold and are currently pushing Amy Coney Barrett through. Trump has majorly skewed the Supreme Court with his choices and it will be up to Joe Biden to recenter the courts.

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Right Response

Response to "Pack the Courts! "

"Is Biden deflecting the question of packing the Supreme Court, or is he just taking a play from the Donald Trump handbook?"

He's obviously "deflecting". Notwithstanding your confusing Trump with Mitch McConnell, isn't Biden supposed to be better than Trump? Isn't Biden supposed to be all about restoring "the soul of the nation"? How does his refusal to discuss this restore the nation's soul?

"It seems when approached with the same tactics, Republicans like to call foul."

Both sides do it.

"It seems like in not answering the question he has answered, yes they will pack the Supreme Court."

Then why not answer it? Not answering it is an admission that his position may sway opinions and votes away from his campaign, which is again something I thought Biden and the Democrats were above? The fact that he actually said we voters don't deserve to know is incredible and, I believe, an unforced tactical error. What else don't we deserve to know?

"Biden and Harris should both be honest with their intentions on handling the Supreme Court."

Agreed

"With that said, I, and many others, would be supportive of packing the Supreme Court given the actions of the Republican Party in recent years."

Yet you make no mention of the actions of the Democrats, who created the nuclear rule option to fast track Obama Federal Court appointments, who in 2007 said they shouldn't entertain any more Bush Federal Court appointments 15 months before the election, and a couple months ago, before RGB passed away, threatened to take away the Filibuster if they flip the Senate. They are also now discussing forming a group needed to review procedures and protocols for removing a President under the 25th amendment, clearly in preparation for replacing Biden with Kamala. Doesn't any of this factor into your into your equation?

"The Republicans stole the Supreme Court pick from Obama, refusing to see Merrick Garland through because of the impending election."

They had the votes to do so. They didn't "steal" anything. And given the Democrats short sighted, ill advised nuclear option rule, it was easy to do.

"When Republicans were faced with the same situation this election year they have completely ignored the rules they previously claimed to uphold"

See above comments on previous Senate partisan power plays by Democrats.

"Trump has majorly skewed the Supreme Court with his choices and it will be up to Joe Biden to recenter the courts."

Skewed? Why, because he chose conservative justices? What would you have him do, choose liberal justices? Trump exercised his constitutional obligation, just like Obama did.

Your mistake here is you think the Senate Democrats are innocent and fair minded, they're all about power, just like Republicans. The impeachment attempt, Russian collusion hoax, attempts to change federal IRS tax law, not imposing term limits on themselves but suggesting they will for the Judicial branch, their nuclear option rule change, threatening to remove the Filibuster if they flip the Senate, telling Bush no more Federal Court appointments in 2007, 15 months before the election....yeah, they're totally innocent.

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Right View

Dementia, Gaffe or Stutter?  

Clearly, voters deserve to know whether a Biden administration will support the biggest proposed Supreme Court change in over 150 years. Does anyone seriously dispute that (besides Biden and Harris)?

Is Biden's claim that voters don't have a right to know whether he supports stacking the court another gaffe? If so, he's running out of time to say so. If not, it begs the question, what else does Biden think voters don't have a right to know? These are chilling words indeed.

What's equally disturbing is Biden's comment: "what Trump is doing to the court right now". Of course, Trump isn't *doing* anything, except exercising his constitutionally empowered right to name replacement justices. Trump is empowered to exercise that authority at any time until his term officially ends, meaning noon on January 20, 2021.

Trump named Amy Coney Barrett last September 26, after Ruth Ginsburg passed away, on September 18. By my count, that meant Trump had 124 days left in office (which assumes he loses), to fill RGB's seat, which is over 4 months.

Kavanaugh's appointment, vetting and subsequent wild and highly politicized trial (which ended with an FBI investigation) took almost 3 months. If Kavanaugh's experience, with all it's drama, is a worst case baseline (and I certainly can't imagine Amy Barrett having to go through all that plus an FBI investigation), then we should be able to wrap this up well before Jan 20th.

So where does that leave us? In the end, this is about competing precedents, partisan agendas and power plays in the Senate. The Republicans blocked Garland Merrick, true. But the Democrats passed the "Nuclear Option" rule, and in 2007, Schumer said Democrats shouldn't entertain any more appointments from then President Bush - 15 months before the election.

So, let's summarize:

-Trump is constitutionally empowered to replace Ginsberg during an election (check)
-Both parties took advantage of their majority status when it suited them (check)
-Democrats enabled the so-called nuclear option (check)
-RGB recognized Trump's constitutional duty (check)

Biden's comments are therefore highly hypocritical, reckless and indifferent to voters, history and the US. Constitution.

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Left Response

Response to "Dementia, Gaffe or Stutter? "

The response to the issue of the Supreme Court appointment is obviously a political powerplay. But let's not pretend the Democrats are the only ones capable of not being entirely transparent. It's inherent in political competition.

Biden obviously feels the need not to display his full deck of cards at the moment, and that is his right. Whether that affects his chances of victory on Election day, that's on him and his campaign.

Yet we have a charge that Biden's strategy is indifferent to the "voters, history and the US Constitution." Is it really? Time will tell. Voters will ultimately determine our balance of powers, and that will be settled on Election day. Then the issue of Supreme Court stacking will be addressed, according to the will of the people, not one given candidate, at least not until he prevails by vote.

It is expected that Republicans will push to confirm a Supreme Court appointee prior to the election to gain political advantage. It is also expected that Democrats will introduce legislation to pack the court above the traditional nine justices. It's a political game, and what happens is up to the people through their elected representatives. There is no Constitutional requirement to withhold confirmation until after the election, and neither is there a Constitutional requirement to keep the Supreme Court Justices to nine judges. In fact, reports of Democrats proposing SCOTUS packing have been around for some time, even long before the death of RBG.

So let's let the people decide. I'll be by my local early polling place tomorrow to vote. Let's let our ballots be our voice.

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