Carrie Severino: Why is Biden still stonewalling on the Supreme Court?
Tuesday night’s presidential debate—the first between Donald Trump and Joe Biden—began with a question about the Supreme Court, not surprisingly given the pending nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. President Trump has been transparent on the issue. Regrettably, transparency continues to be a one-way street.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump released a shortlist of prospects he would consider nominating to the Court. He subsequently added to that list, including during his re-election campaign.
Every step of the way, he has let the voters know what they would get by voting for him: constitutionalist prospects who recognize a judge’s duty to apply the law in accordance with its original meaning.
He kept his promise: President Trump’s judicial appointees have shown that originalist dedication to the rule of law. Litigants across the country can increasingly trust that federal judges will give them a fair shake in court.
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In contrast, for well over a year, Biden has refused calls to release his shortlist—despite saying in June that he was compiling a list he would release once he went “further down the line in vetting them.”
Just last week he explained going back on his word by his concern that “they would be subject to intense criticism for a long time.”
On Tuesday night, he continued to dodge, weave, and refuse to talk about how he would handle the Supreme Court, wallowing instead in criticism of his opponent.
What an insult, given that Biden’s argument against filling the current vacancy is that “the voters of this country should be heard.” There is a world of difference between criticizing his opponent and voicing his own position.
Biden owes voters specifics about what type of judge he would nominate. It should come as no surprise that he fears having his shortlist scrutinized.
Answer the question, Mr. Biden. Are you going to say “no” to court-packing and destroying the institution of the Supreme Court? And are you going to release your shortlist?
Biden rose through the ranks of the Democratic Party to become its standard-bearer as a champion of a party orthodoxy that views the Constitution as a garment the country has outgrown.
Democrats want to replace our current Supreme Court with a liberal super-legislature, stacked with politicians-turned-judges in the mold of AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. All with lifetime appointments, rewriting the law and Constitution.
Left-wing groups have already issued a proposed SCOTUS list, and it’s loaded with progressive activists. Have no doubt, the so-called “judges” on a future Biden Supreme Court/super-legislature will rubber-stamp a radical liberal agenda, circumventing the democratic process.
That means using the courts to diminish protections that are actually in the Constitution—such as political speech, free exercise of religion, and the right to bear arms—while overriding the people’s ability to make policy choices in areas that the Constitution leaves to elected representatives.
Don’t like the death penalty for the most violent criminals? Abolish it by fiat.
Don’t like laws that restrict late-term abortions? Strike them down, all the way up to the time of birth.
The list goes on. What else a liberal justice will say the Constitution means in the future is as unlimited as liberals’ changing policy preferences. That is what happens when courts behave like legislatures. And the sky’s the limit for a party that seems to have shed its belief in borders and become reflexively hostile to law enforcement.
It gets even worse. There is a strong drive among Democrats to get their way by packing the Court with additional seats if they win the White House and both houses of Congress.
Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., stated last year that she was “open to increasing the numbers on the Supreme Court,” as did several of her colleagues. Biden has repeatedly refused to answer the question of whether he would consider expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. He refused again on Tuesday night.
We should not let him get away with his dodges. Answer the question, Mr. Biden. Are you going to say “no” to court-packing and destroying the institution of the Supreme Court? And are you going to release your shortlist?
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If Biden believes the people would have more confidence in his agenda for the Supreme Court than in Trump’s, these would be easy questions to answer. Don’t be surprised that he continues to stonewall: His refusal to reject court-packing and release a list shows his low opinion of the American voter.
The voters of the country do need to be heard, but first they need to be respected.