Biden says he'll set up commission to study reforming Supreme Court if elected

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE said that he would form a commission to "study" the Supreme Court when asked by CBS's Norah O'Donnell whether he would consider adding justices past the current nine seats.

In an interview airing Sunday on "60 Minutes," Biden told O'Donnell that if elected he would put together a bipartisan group to provide recommendations within 180 days on how his administration should work to reform the U.S. court system.

"If elected, what I will do is I'll put together a national commission of, a bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberal, conservative. And I will ... ask them to over 180 days come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it's getting out of whack ... the way in which it’s being handled," Biden said in a video released by CBS on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

"And it's not about court packing. 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," he added.

Biden has faced criticism from the Trump campaign as well as some in the media over his refusal at the first presidential debate to answer whether he would "pack" the Supreme Court given the likelihood of President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE's latest nominee, Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol Supreme Court's approval rating dips to 49 percent  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE, being confirmed in the weeks ahead. He has indicated in the past that he does not personally favor the idea but has left the possibility of doing so open.

ADVERTISEMENT

During an ABC News town hall last week, Biden was questioned on the issue and said that his answer would depend on how Republicans chose to deal with Trump's nomination of Barrett.

“It depends on how much they rush this,” he said.

Biden has also called the issue a distraction from the president's job performance.

“I’m not a fan of court packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue. I want to keep focused,” Biden told CBS affiliate WKRC in Ohio earlier this month. “The president would like nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court, et cetera. The focus is, why is he doing what he’s doing now?”