Biden Surrogate Says He’s Open to Court Packing

October 18, 2020

While Democrats have implied their intention to pack the Supreme Court for weeks, Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) on Sunday explicitly said he was "open" to adding justices to the High Court.

"If we happen to be in the fact pattern where we have a President Biden, we'll have to look at what the right steps are to rebalance our federal judiciary," said Coons, a Biden campaign surrogate.

Over the past few weeks, reporters have asked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign nearly a dozen times about the candidate's intentions to expand the number of justices on the Court. Each time, Biden has deflected, saying it would shift focus and only benefit President Trump to discuss. More recently, however, Biden has indicated he is open to the idea. During an ABC town hall last week, he said his plan for the Supreme Court "depends" on how Senate Republicans "handle" Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation.

"It depends on how much they rush this," the former vice president said. He also promised to reveal his position on court packing before Election Day.

Coons, who has been discussed as a potential Biden administration cabinet pick, joined Democrats' recent efforts to redefine the term "court packing." The senator said last week that Barrett's confirmation to the Court's vacant seat would constitute court packing. The term, however, refers to expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court.

Failed presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, a member of the Biden transition team, also said on Sunday he was open to court packing should Biden win the presidency. He said the move would depoliticize the High Court.