Biden says he opposes expanding the Supreme Court

Biden says he opposes expanding the Supreme Court
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  MORE said that he does not support expanding the Supreme Court, differing from some of his fellow Democratic presidential contenders.

“No, I’m not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we’ll live to rue that day,” he told Iowa Starting Line on Thursday.

Biden's comments come after several other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have indicated that they are open to expanding the Supreme Court or making other judicial reforms.

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race MORE (D-Texas) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' Biden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll MORE have both suggested that they could support increasing the number of Supreme Court justices. Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Bill Weld: As many as six GOP senators privately support convicting Trump MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Sanders endorses Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur for Katie Hill's former House seat Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE (D-Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAdvocacy groups decry Trump's 'anti-family policies' ahead of White House summit This bipartisan plan is the most progressive approach to paid parental leave Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' MORE (D-N.Y.) have not ruled out the idea, according to a Politico article from earlier this year.

Several progressive leaders have argued that expanding the Supreme Court should be considered to counteract the conservative judges that have been confirmed under President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE.

But other candidates, including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerTrump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Booker says he will not make December debate stage White House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetYang: 2020 rivals in Senate should be able to campaign amid impeachment Trump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Schumer to colleagues running for White House: Impeachment comes first MORE (D-Colo.) have been less interested in expanding the Supreme Court.

Democrats remain frustrated that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump McConnell says he'll be in 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment trial strategy MORE (R-Ky.) blocked former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats' self-inflicted diversity vulnerability Gaetz: We didn't impeach Obama even though 'a lot of constituents' think he abused his power Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment MORE's final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandAppeals court clears way for Congress to seek Trump financial records Divisive docket to test Supreme Court ahead of 2020 Majority disapprove of Trump Supreme Court nominations, says poll MORE.

Biden told Iowa Starting Line that he thinks that he and Obama should have been "a whole heck of a lot harder" on McConnell over the Garland nomination.

The former vice president also said that he would be open to renominating Garland, calling the judge a "first-rate person."

Biden added that he's "not going to seat anybody on the court, lower court or otherwise, who doesn’t support the basic fundamental notion that there’s an inherent right to privacy."

Brian Fallon, executive director of the progressive group Demand Justice, criticized Biden's opposition to expanding the Supreme Court. He also criticized Biden's openness to renominating Garland — who would be 68 in 2021, older than many Trump-appointed judges.

"Biden's comments reflect an anachronistic approach to the Supreme Court that simply won't do in 2020," Fallon said in a statement.

-- Updated at 6:17 p.m.