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News Analysis Oct 14, 2020 5:15 PM EST

Ted Cruz explains what 'court packing' really is—Democrats still don't get it

Ted Cruz raised the issue, noting that neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris will give an answer, and the explained it.

Ted Cruz explains what 'court packing' really is—Democrats still don't get it
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

During the third day of hearings to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court justice, the question of packing the court, which has been dogging the Biden/Harris campaign.

Ted Cruz raised the issue, noting that neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris will give an answer on their intentions with increasing the number of seats on the highest court from nine to some higher number, and the explained it.

"Repeatedly Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to answer whether they would pack the court. What does it mean to pack the court? Packing the court means one very specific thing which means expanding the number of justices to achieve a political outcome.

"Packing the court is wrong. It is an abuse of power. I believe should they win in November that our Democratic colleagues will pack the court. I think that's why Joe Biden refuses to answer it, although he did say when asked that the voters don't deserve to know his answer, as to whether he'll pack the court.

"And what we've seen this past week, with a messaged discipline that is really quite remarkable, Democratic senators all making a new argument, that what Republicans have done for four years is packing the court.

"With all due respect, what utter nonsense. Filling judicial vacancies is not what that term means, and they are endeavouring to redefine the language to set the framework, to set the predicate for a partisan assault on the court."

During an interview with a local news outlet in Cincinnati on Monday, presidential hopeful Joe Biden still wouldn’t publicly take a stand one way or another on the issue of "court-packing," and indeed, he attempted to redefine the term "court packing" to mean the filling of judicial vacancies.

In the interview with WKRC 12 interview, Biden said: "Well, look — before they — what I want to spend the focus on, is I respectfully, suggest, is what — the packing — court-packing is going on now, never before when an an election has already begun and millions of votes are already cast, has it ever been that a Supreme Court nominee was put forward. Had never happened before.

"And one of the reasons is, the Constitution implies that the only shot the American people get to determine who will be on the lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court or federal courts, is when they pick their senator and their president, because the president names, and the Senate advises and consents.

"That's the focus. I've already spoken on — I'm not a fan of court-packing, but I’m not — I don't want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused. The president would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would, in fact, pack the court, or not pack the court, et cetera."

Biden had previously gone on record in 2019 as being opposed to such measures regarding the Supreme Court, as noted in this article.  It's unclear at this point whether he is apt to change his position or not.

Many prominent Democrats see the "court-packing" measure has a means of fighting back and avoiding what they consider to be the dangers of a predominantly conservative Supreme Court. The idea is that, should they win in November, they will increase the size of the judiciary on the court, and bring in justices that match their own ideological perspectives.

The Supreme Court is meant to be a place for ideologues, but objective, fair justices who undertake to uphold the law of the Constitution of the United States. Sen. Cruz pointed this out.

Biden however, has agreed to this change in the meaning of the term, and has said further that voters don't have the right to know his stance on the issue until after the election. Cruz believes fully that a Biden/Harris administration will increase the numbers of justices on the court, and in so doing will claim that they are doing so because the Republicans "packed the court.

For their part, neither Biden nor Harris will admit that this is their intention, nor will they reveal that the language is being intentionally changed to suit partisan interests, not justice.

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