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Biden says he opposes expanding the Supreme Court

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Former Vice President Joe Biden 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.

{mosads}Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg have both suggested that they could support increasing the number of Supreme Court justices. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (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 Trump.

But other candidates, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have been less interested in expanding the Supreme Court.

Democrats remain frustrated that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked former President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

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.

Tags Barack Obama Beto O'Rourke Cory Booker Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Kirsten Gillibrand Merrick Garland Michael Bennet Mitch McConnell Pete Buttigieg

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