Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says if he’s elected he would form a bipartisan commission of constitutional scholars to consider changes to the Supreme Court.
Biden has dodged questions about where he stands on the idea of increasing the number of Supreme Court seats, a strategy some Democrats are pushing in order to counter the Republicans’ rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett less than two weeks before Election Day.
In an interview with “60 Minutes” that is set to air Sunday, Biden indicated the goal of the panel is not necessarily to lay the groundworking for “court-packing.”
There are “a number of alternatives that go well beyond packing,” he said.
“60 Minutes” released an excerpt from the interview Thursday.
The former vice president said he will give the commission 180 days to issue recommendations “as to how to reform the court system because it’s getting out of whack, the way in which it’s being handled. There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated, and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.”
Biden has previously opposed expanding the Supreme Court. But since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month, he has avoided questions about whether he’d try to pack the court — which would require the approval of both chambers of Congress — if he wins the election.
He has said he believed answering questions about court-packing would only prove to be a distraction from the Barrett confirmation — he believes the winner of the election should have made the nomination. He later told a Cincinnati TV station that he’s “not a fan” of expanding the court, but when asked about the issue a couple of days later during his ABC News town hall, Biden was still evasive, saying he’d let voters know where he stands before the election.
During the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden said: “The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.”
Biden and President Donald Trump will square off in their final debate Thursday night in Nashville, Tennessee, where Biden will likely be asked again about the issue.