Flashback: Joe Biden Thought Packing SCOTUS Was a 'Bonehead Idea' in 1983


Democrats are pushing a desperate plan to stack the U.S. Supreme Court more in their favor, but one unlikely voice has a very different take: Joe Biden.

Joe Biden from 1983, that is. In a recently-surfaced video from when the former vice president was a young senator, Biden made it perfectly clear that he thought the tactic was a “bonehead idea” and a “terrible mistake.”

During a debate about a Reagan-era question of replacing members of a commission, Biden recalled fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s past plan to sway the balance of the Supreme Court by appointing more and more liberal judges, expanding the number of justices until liberals were satisfied.

“President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the Court,” the future vice president said, correctly pointing out that the Constitution stays pretty quiet on this issue.

Hunter Biden May Have Just Ratted Out Joe, Acknowledges Identity of the 'Big Guy' in $5M China Deal

Yet the senator wasted no time in blasting fellow liberal FDR for that plan, using it as an example of something technically legal but still wrong.

“But it was a bonehead idea,” Biden continued in his trademark blunt style.

Stunningly, he went on to explain that he saw the Supreme Court as far more important than even his fellow senators, and warned about using similar tactics.

“It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body — including the Congress in my view — the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America,” Biden said.

Would it be a mistake for Democrats to "pack" the Supreme Court?

We have to hand it to Biden: This was actually a pretty wise and, dare we say, conservative viewpoint on something that Roosevelt, often held up as the ultimate liberal, tried to do some eight decades ago.

“Roosevelt’s unsuccessful 1937 effort to expand the Supreme Court came after it rejected many parts of his New Deal proposals,” explained the Washington Free Beacon.

“Both Congress and the public viewed the effort as an ‘undemocratic power grab,’ according to University of Virginia professor Barbara Perry. There have been nine members of the Supreme Court since 1869,” continued that outlet.

But those 150 years of stability in the Supreme Court could change if many Democrats today get their way. Liberals seem to be plotting an “undemocratic power grab” of their own, using the same failed tactic as FDR to tilt the balance of the court in their favor.

At least four Democrats who are running for president in 2020 have indicated that they support a plan to remake the Supreme Court in the liberal image by “packing” it with new judges, breaking a century and a half of consistency and trust.

Elon Musk Announces New Ability His AI Will Soon Have - Lawmakers Will Hate This One

Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are all on board with that radical plan. So is former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

For his part, Biden is expected to jump into the 2020 race within days, after hemming and hawing about his decision in recent months. It will be very interesting to see if he echoes his past views on the Supreme Court issue, or will reverse his stance to join the other Democrats in this scheme.

One thing is clear, however: When Joe Biden is the reasonable voice of the Democrat party, something has gone terribly wrong.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , , ,
Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.