Daniel Hemel: Biden Shouldn't Rule Out Court-Packing

Court-packing is a dreadful option. Biden shouldn’t rule it out.

Both in the debates and on the campaign trail, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) have refused to say whether they will seek to “pack” the Supreme Court if they win next month’s vote. Onstage in Salt Lake City last week, Vice President Pence hammered Harris for sidestepping the subject. “The American people deserve a straight answer,” Pence said. “And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”

Actually, we — the American people — don’t deserve a straight answer on court-packing. Biden and Harris are doing precisely the right thing by declining to back court-packing while also declining to take it off the table. The possibility of packing plays an important role in our constitutional system: Not only does it serve to check the court, but it also connects the court to the electorate.

So while President Trump told Fox News on Thursday that the Democrats’ dodge of the court-packing question is “disrespectful to the process and to the people,” that gets things backward. It’s Trump and Pence who are jeopardizing the court’s democratic legitimacy by demanding an anti-packing pledge.

Read more at The Washington Post