supreme court

Joe Biden plans special commission to suggest reforms

Democrat says court system is ‘getting out of whack’ and says commission would have 180 days to make recommendations

Joe Biden: “Presidents come and go. Supreme court justices stay for generations”

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POLITICS PRESS GROUP

Joe Biden has confirmed he would appoint a special commission to study the US court system over 180 days, if he is elected next month, to provide reform recommendations relating to the supreme court and beyond.

In response to questions about the US supreme court during an interview for this Sunday’s 60 Minutes news magazine, the former vice-president and Democratic presidential nominee told CBS TV managing editor Norah O’Donnell that the court system is “getting out of whack” and that “there’s a number of alternatives that go well beyond ‘packing’”, ie increasing the number of seats on the nine-justice supreme court bench.

“The last thing we need to do is turn the supreme court into just a political football, [that means] whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want,” Biden said in the interview, which airs just nine days ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

“Presidents come and go. Supreme court justices stay for generations,” he added.

In keeping with the show’s election tradition, both candidates will be featured in separate interviews to spell out their plans for the country. The previews come following reports that Donald Trump abruptly ended what was intended to be an hour-long interview at the White House after 45 minutes, before chastising correspondent Stahl for her professionalism and lack of mask.

Meanwhile, the US president has been talking about doing his own pre-emptive defense.

Biden vowed that if he prevails in November’s election he will “put together a bipartisan commission of constitutional scholars – Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative” over “180 days come back to me with recommendations” on the US court system.

“It’s the way in which it’s being handled and it’s not about court packing,” Biden argued, adding “there’s a number of other things that our constitutional scholars have debated and I’ve looked to see what recommendations that commission might make.”

While the Democrat kept the focus on the recovery from a pandemic and recession, Trump, meanwhile, vaguely looked forward to one goal: “To get back to normal”.

“Get back to where we were, to have the economy rage and be great with jobs and everybody be happy,” he said. “And that’s where we’re going, and that’s where we’re heading.”

The president then took aim at China, calling them “an adversary,” “a competitor” and a “foe” before slamming the country for giving rise to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Interviews with their running mates, Republican vice-president Mike Pence and California Senator Kamala Harris, will also air during the broadcast.

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