President Trump on Tuesday said that allies of his Democratic rival Joe Biden “want to expand” the Supreme Court, while slamming the former vice president for not releasing a list of potential judicial nominees, and warning that he “must have a list” of “radical left” judges.
“Biden’s Handler’s want to expand the Court,” the president tweeted Tuesday. “This would be very bad for the USA.”
“On top of that they don’t want to provide a list of who would be chosen for the Court,” Trump continued. “MUST HAVE A LIST OF THESE RADICAL LEFT JUDGES.”
The president’s tweet came just hours after the Senate voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, who was sworn in Monday night by Justice Clarence Thomas.
Trump nominated Barrett, his third nominee to the high court in September after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats slammed the president, and Republicans, who vowed to have Barrett confirmed to the bench before Election Day, and threatened to pack the court — or add justices — to the Supreme Court.
The idea of “packing” the court with extra justices – attempted unsuccessfully by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937 to force through parts of his New Deal that were ruled unconstitutional by the high court – has bubbled away on the fringes of the party for years.
But court packing, even by its traditional, more pernicious definition, is entirely constitutional. The traditional definition of court packing means expanding the Supreme Court in order to appoint politically-agreeable justices, not what Republicans are doing, which is filling naturally occurring vacancies.
Trump and Republicans have warned that Biden would pack the court, but the former vice president, earlier this month, said he is “not a fan” of the idea. Biden, though, has not outright shut down the idea.
Biden, this week, indicated that he may be open to shifting Supreme Court justices to lower courts if elected president, but said he had not yet made any “judgment” on the issue.
“There is some literature among constitutional scholars about the possibility of going from one court to another court, not just staying the whole time in the Supreme Court but I have made no judgment,” he said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania Monday.
He went on to say that “there are just a group of serious constitutional scholars, have a number of ideas how we should proceed from this point on.”
“That’s what we’re going to be doing. We’re going to give them 180 days, God-willing, if I’m elected, from the time I’m sworn in to be able to make such a recommendation.”
Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has not released a list of potential nominees — a move Republicans, like Sen. Chuck Grassley, has criticized, saying there is “no reason” for Biden to “hide” the names.
Earlier this year, though, Biden promised to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court should he win the presidency and should a vacancy on the high court appear.