Biden plans a bipartisan commission to advise on court packing and other reforms

Dylan Stableford
·Senior Writer
·3 min read

In excerpts of interviews with both President Trump and Joe Biden released by CBS News Thursday, the former vice president gave his most detailed answer to date on the question of so-called court packing, while the president said his biggest domestic priority next year is to “get back to normal.”

Biden said that if elected, he would form a bipartisan commission to study the court packing issue and other court-related reforms that have arisen in the wake of Trump’s push to have Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett confirmed so close to the election.

Some Democrats have pushed for expanding the nation’s high court to include more than nine justices. Biden had been reluctant to answer questions about the issue in recent weeks, saying he would reveal his position before Election Day.

“If elected, what I will do is I’ll put together a national commission of — bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative,” Biden told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell in the interview, which was conducted Monday for this Sunday’s broadcast of “60 Minutes.” “And I will ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system, because it’s getting out of whack, the way in which it’s being handled.”

Biden insisted it’s not just about court packing.

“There’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated, and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make,” he said, adding: “The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want. Presidents come and go. Supreme Court justices stay for generations.”

In the interview with Trump, which was taped Tuesday at the White House, CBS’s Lesley Stahl asked the president to name his “biggest domestic priority” for 2021.

After Trump reverted to his dubious claim that he had “created the greatest economy in the history of our country” before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Stahl told him, “That’s not true.”

“It is totally true,” Trump said.

“No,” Stahl replied.

The president said that “the priority now is to get back to normal, get back to where we were, to have the economy rage and be great with jobs and everybody be happy.”

The president picked China when asked by Stahl to name “our biggest foreign adversary.”

Trump has been complaining about how Stahl handled the interview since shortly after he ended it abruptly on Tuesday afternoon. Soon after the clips were released, he repeated a threat to release a “full, unedited” version — presumably recorded by White House staffers — of the interview, which he called a “vicious attempted ‘takeout’” by the veteran journalist.

“I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted ‘takeout’ interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes,” the president tweeted. “Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and ‘magnificently brilliant’ answers to their ‘Q’s.’”

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