By Nikki Schwab, Senior U.s. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com
Democratic nominee Joe Biden opened the door to expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court, depending on how the rest of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation process is handled.
‘I have not been a fan of court-packing because it generates, whoever wins it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable,’ Biden said Thursday night at an ABC News townhall.
But with prodding from George Stephanopoulos, Biden said it would be something he’d consider though it ‘depends on how this turns out,’ telling the ABC News anchor he would announce a clear position by the November 3 presidential election.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden (left) was asked by a Pennsylvania voter Thursday night about court-packing and explained that while he’s ‘not a fan’ he could be open to it if Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation gets rushed
‘They do have a right to know where I stand and they’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote,’ Biden told Stephanopoulos, who then pressed him to answer in the affirmative about whether the Democratic nominee would articulate a ‘clear position by election day.’
Biden has been getting hit by Trump-aligned Republicans for refusing to say if he’d support a liberal-pushed idea to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court, to offset conservative gains from the Trump years.
The former vice president has been wishy-washy about giving an answer.
Biden told Stephanopoulos he wasn’t answering the question purposely because he thought it served as a distraction.
‘You know if I had answered the question directly then all the focus would be on, ‘What’s Biden going to do if he wins?” Instead of on, “Is it appropriate what is going on now”‘ Biden said. ‘This is the thing the president loves to do, always take our eye off the ball.’
The ex-veep said he’s missed most of the Barrett hearings that took place in the Senate Judiciary Committee starting Monday.
‘My reading online what the judge said was that she didn’t answer very many questions at all and I don’t think she laid out much of a judicial philosophy,’ Biden said.
Biden had also specifically been asked about LGBT rights and answered, ‘I think there’s great reason to be concerned.’
Biden said he believed it was ‘inconsistent’ with the Constitution to push Barrett through ‘once an election begins’ because the only role voters have in picking Supreme Court justices is voting for president and for senators.
The former vice president said he’d have to see ‘if there’s actually real live debate on the floor’ before he would come to a decision about court packing.
He said he couldn’t recall a ‘controversial justice’ whose nomination has ‘gone through in a day.’
‘It depends on how much they rush this,’ Biden said.