I have covered politics as a reporter and run for office as a candidate, and I am amazed at what Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are getting away with on the matter of “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court.
The last serious stab at this came in the 1930s when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt broached the topic in response to high court resistance to the New Deal.
The number of justices was set at nine by statute in 1869. It’s been that way ever since, but this year Democrats say packing is on the table as is adding two states to get more Democratic senators.
Leading Democrats have suggested expanding the court in response to the possible confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as an associate justice.
Joe Biden, who has previously opposed packing, now plays possum. He says with a straight face that answering the question would create headlines. No kidding.
What it would do is offend either the far left or the center depending on his stance. It also would focus news coverage away from President Donald Trump’s woes with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The news media seem content with this outrageous stance and outright refusal to address an issue that would be historic and fundamentally realign the federal system and the relationship between the branches.
“You’ll hear my position on court packing when the election is over,” Mr. Biden said Oct. 8 during a stop in Arizona.
Another who should answer is Tedra Cobb who would have to vote on a new judicial act if this is proposed.
Expansion of the court is a radical proposal. It should be addressed, and the media should put aside their contempt for President Trump and hold Mr. Biden’s feet to the fire.
The writer served for five terms as the mayor of Watertown and previously worked as a reporter for WWTI-TV 50. He hosts two radio programs on WATN-AM 1240.