by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won’t release a list of prospective U.S. Supreme Court nominees. He also won’t say whether he would be open to packing the nation’s highest court with more members. Editors at National Review Online argue Biden ought to reveal his plans.
When invited at the first presidential debate to confirm whether he hoped to expand the Supreme Court in order to pack it with Democrats, Joe Biden explained that he would not entertain the question. “Whatever position I take,” Biden said, “that will become the issue . . . I’m not gonna answer the question.”
This would have been a preposterous answer from a presidential candidate had the topic been the future of the Post Office. But that Biden believes he can get away with it on a topic as explosive as blowing up the Supreme Court is nothing short of remarkable. Despite his low-key campaign, it remains the case that Joe Biden is running for president of the United States, and that he had elected to take part in a televised event during which he was expected to take positions and address issues. That his taking a position would become “an issue” in the election is almost certainly true. But that does not represent a bug within the system, but a feature. Americans of all persuasions deserve to know whether Biden is on-board with what would be the most radical reform to our system of government since the Second World War. This is not one of those “pass it to find out what’s in it” situations.
We suspect that if Donald Trump were proposing to amend the 1869 Judiciary Act in order to install a set of friendlier judges on the nation’s highest court, the problem with the idea would be evident to almost everyone. But one does not have play “imagine if” in order to grasp just how appalling a notion this is.