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Biden on Court Packing: 'I'm Not a Fan' but 'It Depends' on How Barrett's Nomination Is Handled

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is clear that he believes the issue of whether he supports adding seats to the Supreme Court is simply a distraction from the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the court.

During a town hall event hosted by ABC News on Thursday, Biden was asked if he would support “safeguards that would help ensure more long-term balance and stability” in regards to the Supreme Court.

Biden began by saying he believes there is a “great reason to be concerned” about the “erosion of rights” for the LGBTQ community. However, he tried to stay away from the issue of adding more seats to the Supreme Court — commonly called court packing. 

Moderator George Stephonapolous interjected to note that the former vice president said he opposed court packing during a Democratic primary debate in 2019. He asked if Biden still holds that position or if Barrett’s nomination is “reason enough to rethink your position.”

“You know if I had answered the question correctly, 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 responded.

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He continued, “I have not been a fan of court packing because then it just generates … whoever wins it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable.”

Stephanopolous pressed him on whether he is still not a fan of expanding the court. Biden said, “I’m not a fan. It depends on how this turns out. Not if we win. But how it’s handled.”

Stephanopolous asked Biden what he meant when he said: “how it’s handled.”

“For example, if there’s actually real live debate on the floor. If people are really going to be able to have a time to go through this. You know, I don’t know anybody who’s gone on the floor, and that’s been a controversial justice in terms of fundamentally altering the makeup of the court that’s gone through in a day. It depends on how much they rush this,” Biden said. 

Watch the video below:

Biden was pressed again on whether he would support expanding the court if the Senate confirms Barrett before the election. He said, “I’m open to considering what happens from that point on.”

Finally, Stephanoplous asked if Biden would make his position clear before election day. 

Biden said, “Yes … depending on how they handle this.”

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For several weeks, Biden refused to answer whether he supports court packing because he argued it would shift the focus away from “what he’s doing now.”

However, earlier this week, he told the Associated Press, “I’ve already spoken, I’m not a fan of court packing.”

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