Biden admits he IS open to court packing and says his position 'depends on' the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation process
16th October 2020

JOE Biden said he is open to packing the court if Amy Coney Barrett is voted into the Supreme Court during Thursday night's town hall that aired on ABC with George Stephanopoulos.

"I'm open to considering what happens from that point on," Biden said during the town hall.

During a long volley of questions between Biden, Stephanopoulos and a town hall participant, Biden seemed to tacitly agree to packing the court should Barrett's hearings see her favorably appointed to the Supreme Court.

Biden also expressed disappointment with Barrett's hearings.

"My reading online what the judge said was she didn’t answer very many questions at all," Biden said Thursday night. "And I don’t even think she’s laid out much of a judicial philosophy in terms of the basis in which she thinks."

"Packing the court" was a slang term coined during President Franklin D Roosevelt's administration after he proposed legislation to add up to six Supreme Court justices for every sitting justice over the age of 70 years and six months.

His running mate Kamala Harris has also said she is open to packing the court, however, Biden added during the town hall he was not a "fan" of court-packing.

Earlier in the townhall, Biden said millions of lives would be saved and the country would not go through a lockdown if everyone simply wore masks.

"If you wear this mask, you'll save more lives between now and the end of the year when then if we had a vaccine," Biden said.

"If you listen to the head of the CDC, he stood up and he said you know while we're waiting for a vaccine – and he held up a mask," Biden said at the townhall while raising his mask into the air. "Then if we had a vaccine."

"It's estimated by every major study done from the University of Washington to Columbia that if in fact we wore masks, we could save between now and the end of the year 100,000 lives," Biden continued.

Stephanopoulos interjected, asking "And avoid lockdowns?"

"And avoid lockdown yes," Biden said. "You don't have to lock down if you're wearing the mask."

The former vice president blasted the president for not doing enough to save the more than 210,000 Americans who had died due to Covid-19.

"Trump talks about things that aren't accurate," Biden said in regards to the potential coronavirus vaccine. "If we wear masks, we could save more lives."

Nearing the end of the town hall, Stephanopoulos asked Biden what it would mean about the United States should he lose the election.

"Well it could say that I’m lousy candidate and I didn't do a good job," Biden said.

"But, I think, I hope that it doesn't say that we are as racially, ethnically and religiously at odds with one another as it appears the President wants us to be," he concluded.

What does court packing mean

Talks of court packing or “packing the court

  • Packing the court is a term for the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937 proposed by President Franklin D Roosevelt
  • Roosevelt proposed the bill to get a favorable ruling for his New Deal plan
  • There were only six justices on the Supreme Court during Roosevelt's more than 12 years in office
  • The provision would allow a president to appoint an addition justice – up to six – for every sitting justice over 70.5 years old
  • Roosevelt's legislation was not approved, however an additional judge was added in 1989 as the Constitution does not limit the number of judges to serve on the Supreme Court

More to follow…

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