Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday said he won’t release his list of prospective Supreme Court nominees until he is elected, giving off a set of reasons he believes “could influence that person’s decision” ahead of the November election despite pressure from both sides him to do so.
During his 25 minute remark without taking reporters question from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Biden listed three reasons for why he will not be releasing a list of Supreme Court nominees.
“First, putting a judge’s name on a list like that could influence that person’s decision making as a judge, and that would be wrong, or at least create the perception that it would have influence,” Biden said in remarks regarding the future of the Supreme Court. “Second, anyone put on a list like that under these circumstances would be subject to unrelenting political attacks, because any nominee I would select would not get a hearing until 2021 at the earliest. She would endure those attacks for months on end without being able to defend herself.”
“Thirdly, and finally, perhaps most importantly, if I win, I’ll make my choice for the Supreme Court not based on a partisan election campaign, but on what prior presidents have done, Republican and Democrats, and I’ve served with many of them,” Biden added.
Biden slammed President Trump for being the only presidential candidate to release a list of contenders to the high court both during the 2016 and 2020 campaign and implied his rival has set a dangerous precedent by doing so.
“Supreme Court decisions will touch every part of these crises, every part of our lives and our future,” Biden said. “The last thing we need is to add a constitutional crisis that plunges us deeper into the abyss, deeper into the darkness. If we go down this path, I predict it will cause irreversible damage. The infection this president has unleashed on our democracy can be fatal. Enough.”
However, Biden pledged in June to release his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, telling reporters that his campaign is “putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience.” He added that the list wouldn’t release until each nominees are vetted but declined to give a timeline of when the list would be revealed.
The liberal group Demand Justice released its own shortlist of 17 Black women it says would make ideal justices, calling on Biden to follow Trump’s lead in releasing a list.
In his remarks, Biden falsely claimed that the Trump campaign following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is urging him to release his slate of possible nominees to the Supreme Court.
“We can’t keep rewriting history, scrambling norms, ignoring our cherished system of checks and balances,” Biden said. “That includes this whole business of releasing a list of potential nominees that I would put forward. They’re now saying, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, they said, ‘Biden should release his list.’ It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release the list only after she passed away. It’s a game for them. It’s a play to up emotions and anger. There’s a reason why no presidential candidate, other than Donald Trump, has ever done such a thing.”
Both the Trump campaign and Trump himself has repeatedly called for Biden to release his list of potential Supreme Court nominees prior to Ginsburg’s death on Friday. Last week shortly after Trump unveiled 20 additional new potential Supreme Court nominees to be added to his original list, the Trump campaign released a statement saying “Biden must do the same.”
The Trump campaign last Thursday, a day before Ginsburg passing repeated the call in a statement asking “Who would Joe Biden put on the Supreme Court? He won’t say.”
Trump has also repeated the same call way before the death of Ginsburg.
When revealing 20 new names to be added to his own ongoing list of potential Supreme Court picks last week, Trump said it’s “very important” that Biden to “release a list of justices for people to properly make a decision on how they will vote.”
Three days later during a campaign rally in Nevada, Trump brought up the list that has been updated to 45 people of those he would consider for the Supreme Court and reiterated his call in asking Biden “to do the same thing” and “put out a list of his judges” so voters know where one candidate stands.
In late August during the first day of the Republican National Convention, Trump told delegates after they declared him the 2020 Republican nominee for President that he is “demanding” Biden to “put up a list of the judges he’s going to appoint.”
And in June with an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network regarding the issue of pro-life, Trump said, “You ought to ask a guy like a Biden or ask his campaign, give a list of judges, see where they stand on pro-life, see where they stand on it. You will not be able to get that because they’re going to put an absolute radical lefty in there in the Supreme court.”
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh in a statement responded to Biden’s refusal to release a list of potential nominees.
“The President has placed two well-qualified justices on the court so far and he is about to select a third. Americans can see the names on his list of potential nominees, while Joe Biden is hiding his list of people he would consider if he were president,” Murtaugh said. “Biden knows that he is an empty vessel for the radical left and that’s why he’s refusing to be honest with the American people about who he would want on the court.”