Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, speaking on Sunday, said "Voters of this country should be heard ... they're the ones who this Constitution envisions should decide
who has the power to make this appointment… To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise of raw political power."
Biden said that if he wins the Nov. 3 election, he should have the chance to nominate the next Supreme Court justice. However, the former vice president rejected the idea of releasing the names of potential nominees, as President Trump did. However, he reiterated his pledge to nominate an African-American woman to the court, if he has the opportunity.
Biden’s comments were made in response to President Trump’s statement on Saturday that he will make his nomination this week and named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible candidates to fill the vacancy created by Friday's death of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman," Trump said at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where supporters chanted "fill that seat." "I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men," joked the President.
Biden’s reticence about naming names is a big change from his position in June, when he indicated that he would be releasing a list of potential Court nominees, specifically “African American women”
“We are putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be on the court,” Biden said in June. “I am not going to release that until we go further down the line in vetting them.”
However, as Jordan Davidson reported for The Federalist, there is still no word from Biden on when that list will be published. And given that he has now flip-flopped on the propriety of releasing such a list it seems doubtful that the former vice president will keep his word to let voters evaluate the judicial philosophy and temperament of the judge he plans to elevate to a lifetime appointment on the Nation’s highest court.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was not about to let Biden off as easily as the establishment media flaks who cover his campaign do.
Ms. McEnany told Fox & Friends, “Well look, the former vice president, in all due respect, instead of telling the current president what to do, he needs to tell voters where he stands. We don’t know who is on his Supreme Court list. We don’t know what kind of justices he would nominate. We know, very squarely, this president’s been very transparent, putting forward two lists as to exactly, not just what his justices would look like, but what their names would be. This is paramount importance to the American voters. This is now a lynchpin issue of this election, and Joe Biden, where do you stand? What do your justices look like? Do they believe in the Constitution? Do they abide by the Constitution? Do they believe in the plain words of a statute? He needs to answer those questions before telling President Trump exactly how to move forward.”
She later added, “This is a lifetime appointment. These are issues that hit at the very core of our liberties, like the Second Amendment, like the right to life, the First Amendment, freedom of speech. These issues determine the very values of this country, so knowing where he stands, knowing these names, is very important to voters and really the onus is on him now to put out that list.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary likewise said Trump’s “transparency” in publishing the potential nominees is a privilege of voters that should also be afforded by Biden.
“The Biden-Harris ticket owes voters the same transparency President Trump has demonstrated along with the same commitment to nominate from that list should there be a vacancy. There’s no reason to hide something as consequential as who would be named to our highest court,” Grassley said.
Republican Senator John Barrasso on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday brushed off Democratic complaints about the nomination process.
"Let's be very clear - if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats had the White House and the Senate, they would right now be trying to confirm another member of the Supreme Court," Barrasso said.
Just a few days before the death of Justice Ginsburg the Senate’s Number 2 Democrat, Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois said, “I sincerely hope he [Biden] does not do that,” meaning announce a list of potential Supreme Court nominees. “We ought to go back to the regular order of things. If and when vacancies occur he can look for the very best person at that moment.”
Well, there is now a vacancy and we think former vice president Biden, and the Democrat Party, should stand up and fulfill Biden’s original pledge to release the list of “African American women” from whom he would choose to replace the late Justice Ginsburg.
Supreme Court list
Ruth Bader Ginsburg death
Trump Supreme Court list
Amy Coney Barrett