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Joe Biden won't say no to Democratic threats to pack the Supreme Court

By John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

Yes, conservatives push the issue for their political advantage. And yes, Democrats frantically try to spin it away while hoping their allies in the liberal media do the spinning for them, insisting that all they’re doing with the court-packing threat is responding to Trump’s appointment of Barrett before the election.

But it’s not the same thing.

Trump and the Republicans are following the Constitution. Republicans in 2016 declined to give a hearing to President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. I supported that delay because I wanted the people to decide. And the people did decide. Trump was elected in 2016, running while offering a list of conservative judges he promised to appoint. The Republican Senate held its majority in the midterm election. The people did decide.

Not all journalists are carrying Biden’s water. CNN’s Jake Tapper was puzzled by Biden’s refusal to answer, given that in the past Biden had been clearly opposed.

Because in 1983, the old Joe Biden, the clearheaded and moderate Joe Biden, ridiculed court-packing as a threat to the republic in a Senate speech.

He noted that President Roosevelt had the right to try under the Constitution.

“But it was a bonehead idea,” he continued. “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.”

Earlier this week, Biden said he was “not a fan” of court-packing. But that’s too equivocal and hardly a direct answer.

 

What happened to Joe Biden?

He wants to win.

He failed in his quest for the White House before, and now he so desperately wants to be president that he’d countenance threats from the left against the independence of the Supreme Court.

And that’s what happened to Joe Biden.

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(John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. His e-mail address is jskass@chicagotribune.com, and his Twitter handle is @john_kass.)

© 2020 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

 

 

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