May 4, 2020 - Monday
Joe Biden's Court of Mystery
May 04, 2020
Donald Trump did a lot of unconventional things in his run for president, but releasing his short list of possible U.S. Supreme Court justices proved to be one of the smartest. With the courts topping most conservatives' concerns heading into 2016, the names were a reassurance that no matter what else the GOP nominee did as commander-in-chief, he would at least be leaving behind a legacy of constitutionalists. Now, three and a half years' worth of confirmations later, people are wondering what Joe Biden's list would look like. But they'll have to keep wondering -- because so far, he's too scared to release one.
Interestingly enough, it's not just conservatives who want the Democrat to provide one -- but liberals too. Instead of answering the call, the Biden campaign seems more interested in skirting it, saying only, "Joe Biden was proud to... lead the fight against many Reagan judicial nominees... like Judge [Robert] Bork" when he served on the Senate Judiciary Committee." Rather than tell anyone who he's considering, the Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino says, "Biden would prefer to play hide the ball and remind us that he was an architect of the modern-day smear campaign against Republican-appointed top-court nominees. Biden presided over the hearings for Bork and later for Clarence Thomas, both of which were the foundation for the unprecedented Brett Kavanaugh confirmation train wreck we witnessed in 2018."
But, as Carrie points out, Biden's record isn't exactly one to brag about. "The vilification of Bork in 1987 was so intense that it added a new word to the English language. To 'bork,' according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means "to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification."
Liberals, realizing that the courts were Trump's most compelling argument to voters in 2016, want to capture a little of that magic for themselves. "Left-wing interest groups want Biden to release his list because they want assurances too. They want a commitment from Biden that he will appoint liberal judges who will reflexively achieve the liberal policies they want." How? By bypassing the democratic process of course.
On "Washington Watch" talking with Sarah Perry, Carrie points out that people have been asking for these names for a year. "Let's go head-to-head and compare these [with Trump's]. But [the Biden camp] doesn't want to do it. And I'm loving the fact that even the liberal groups... and activists and money groups on the Left are saying, 'We don't know what you're going to do.' ...All they've seen so far is these outstanding men and women who have a record of being faithful to the Constitution and the rule of law coming out of President Trump's [administration]."
Of course, we do know one thing about Joe Biden's nominees: they'll all be pro-abortion extremists. He admitted as much at one of the last Democratic debates. "A litmus test on abortion relates to the fundamental values of the Constitution," Biden said. "A woman does have the right to choose. If they rule it to be unconstitutional, I will send to the United States Congress, and it will pass, I believe, a bill that legislates Roe v. Wade adjusted by Casey."
Lists aside, the courts are only going to get more important the closer the election gets. Depending on who controls the Senate, Democrats know the sky's the limit for them if Biden wins, especially when it comes to things like court-packing. Judges are the key, Carrie warns, to delivering "the kind of America that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and the far-Left dream of." Maybe that's why Biden is holding back. As NRO's David Harsanyi points out, the only thing the former vice president would be doing is scaring conservatives. And come election time, a scared conservative is a motivated one.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.