Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden once again avoided giving a straight answer on whether he would support packing the Supreme Court if elected, after making clear during Tuesday’s debate that he would not address the issue.
In a local news interview with Pittsburgh’s WTAE on Wednesday, anchor Shannon Perrine pressed Biden on the issue, noting that viewers wanted her to follow up on the question that went unanswered the night before. Biden gave a similar response.
“You know, that’s exactly what they want me to talk about so we don’t talk about how they’re violating the Constitution now,” Biden said. “I’m not going to play Trump’s game. Right now, my entire focus is seeing to it that the American people get a chance – the election has already started – to have their say on who the next Supreme Court justice is. And that’s what I’m focused on.”
Biden was then asked how Republicans are violating the Constitution.
“The Constitution says that the American people – I taught constitutional law for over 20 years – says the American people get an opportunity to choose who they want on the Supreme Court by who they pick as their senator and their president," said Biden, who began teaching classes at Widener University Delaware Law School in 1991.
The Constitution, which discusses the Supreme Court in Article III, says nothing about the people getting to choose who sits on it. Originally, it did not even say that the public could choose their senators – state legislatures selected them until the 17th Amendment put that power in the hands of the people in 1913.
During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump noted that he is still the president and that his term lasts four years, not three, so the power to nominate justices still belongs to him.
Fox News' Chris Wallace pressed the Democratic presidential candidate on whether he would be willing to pack the Supreme Court and end the Senate filibuster, and Biden flatly refused to take a stance on the issue.
“Whatever position I take on that, that’ll become the issue,” Biden said. When President Trump pressed him on it, Biden acknowledged that he had no intention of giving a straight answer.
“I’m not going to answer the question because the question is, the question is, the question is,” Biden said, before telling the president to “shut up, man.”
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.