Supreme Court List: Biden Says He Will Not Release List to Avoid Politicizing Court

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Lancaster, Pa., June 25, 2020. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Sunday that he will not be releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees as President Trump has done because he wants to avoid politicizing the court.

“We can’t ignore the cherished system of checks and balances. That includes this whole business of releasing a list of potential nominees that I would put forward,” Biden said during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at 87. Her passing has ignited intense debate and speculation about whether the Senate will confirm a new justice while President Trump is still in office.

Earlier this month, Trump released an updated list of potential Supreme Court nominees with several new names included. Trump pledged to nominate a woman to the Court this week at a Saturday rally in North Carolina, and on Monday he said he would name his candidate by the end of the week.

Biden pushed back against calls for him to release his own list of potential nominees, explaining that he believes doing so could inject politics into the process and could expose his selections to political attacks.

“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 it would influence,” Biden said. “Second, anyone put on a list like that under these circumstances will be subject to unrelenting political attacks, because any nominee I 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 have served with them,” the former vice president continued. “Only after consulting Republicans and Democrats in the United States Senate, and seeking their advice and asking for their consent — it says ‘advice and consent the Senate.’”

Biden added that Trump’s decision to release such a list shows the process is a “game” to Republicans.

“It’s no wonder they ask that I release the list only after she passed away. It is a game for them. It is a play to gin up emotions and anger. There’s a reason why no other candidate than President Trump has ever done such a thing,” Biden said.

Trump suggested Monday that Biden may not want to release a list of potential nominees because his list would include “major radical left” names.

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