Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in a newly unearthed video, referred to the idea of packing the Supreme Court as a “power grab” while he was a senator representing Delaware.
Biden would almost certainly now entertain the idea of adding justices to the high court, as some Democrats have proposed, if he manages to win the November election. However, he bludgeoned the idea of packing the court back in 2005 — when he still spoke with vigor and passion.
During a speech that is suddenly very relevant, given Biden’s complete refusal to answer questions about packing the court, Biden was on the other side of the issue during the second term of former President George W. Bush.
In a reference to the 1937 court-packing controversy that briefly enveloped the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt — back when the idea of packing the court was still scandalous, even for Democrats — Biden slammed the country’s 32nd president.
The video was shared on Twitter by Eddie Zipperer, a conservative commentator and assistant professor of political science and English at Georgia Military College:
Biden refers to court packing a “power grab” in 2005: pic.twitter.com/AhQWp1a8F3
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) October 10, 2020
“In the summer of ’37, Roosevelt had just come off of a landslide victory over Alf Landon. He had a Congress made up off of solid New Dealers, but the ‘nine old men’ of the court were thwarting his agenda,” Biden said on the Senate floor, using a Roosevelt-era term of disparagement for the court.
“In this environment, Roosevelt, I remember this old adage about power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, corrupted by power, in my view, unveiled his court-packing plan.”
Biden continued, “[FDR] wanted to increase the number of justices to 15, allowing himself to nominate those additional judges. It took an act of courage on the part of his own party, institutionally, to stand up against this power grab.”
It actually took a bit of courage from a career politician such as Biden to criticize one of his party’s most historically popular presidents like that.
Now, the 77-year-old, who has grown frail and has lost his vigor, lacks the courage to even answer a question about packing the Supreme Court.
Just last week, Biden stated clearly that voters “don’t deserve” to know if he and his party intend to add more justices to the court.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 10, 2020
KTLV-TV reporter Ross DiMattei asked Biden about his stance on the court at a campaign stop Friday in Las Vegas, “This is the number one thing that I’ve been asked about from viewers in the past couple of days.”
Biden, in a reference to the nomination of Hudge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, cut in” “Well, you’ve been asked by viewers who are probably Republicans who don’t want me to continue talking about what they’re doing to the court right now.”
DiMattei, to his credit, persisted.
“Sir, don’t the voters deserve to know where you stand?” he asked.
“No, they don’t deserve,” the Democrat nominee said.
“I’m not going to play his game,” he added in an apparent reference to President Donald Trump.
Biden’s impassioned words from 15 years ago are a reminder of how far to the left Democrats have drifted, and how far they’ve taken Biden with them.
Biden and Democrats want to violate judicial norms in a fit over Trump’s nomination of Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18, was opposed to the idea of court-packing, NPR reported, as was Biden not too long ago.
Somehow this information isn’t the major topic of conversation for not-so nonpartisan debate moderators, or for most reporters during Q&As.
Of course, if the country’s establishment media was good for anything, Biden’s refusal to answer questions about the Supreme Court would dominate the top of every newscast, and pepper the front pages of every national newspaper.
But Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, are in charge of not only the Democratic Party, but also apparently the establishment media’s daily editorial meetings.
For them, you’d imagine, this issue apparently can’t go away fast enough.
A few reporters have engaged in journalism in recent weeks by asking both Biden and Harris each about the court-packing plan multiple times, but both candidates have been evasive.
No reporter follow-ups.
No demands for answers from media titans like CNN CEO Jeff Zucker.
The transparency though, is there in the form that we know what we’ve known now for decades: Democrats and the media are one and the same.
The country’s activist media has let Biden and Harris get away dodging questions about rebuilding the Supreme Court, and now we’re three weeks away from voting, and we have no idea what the makeup of the country, or the judiciary, could look like next year, should Biden and the complicit media succeed in unseating President Trump.
The country knew that the the Supreme Court would be a deciding issue for the upcoming election.
But Democrats are violating every norm, and now the issue of the high court takes on the utmost importance for a different reason, as Biden now seems at least open to an FDR-like “power grab” of his own.
If Democrats are successful next month, the Supreme Court could forever change, as the additional liberal activist judges would make a mockery of the Constitution and the high court by treating it as another legislative body.
Joe Biden had the sense to reject that 15 years ago. American voters need the sense, and the strength, to reject it now.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.