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Democratic Delaware senator says he is open to expanding the Supreme Court

Greg Nash

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said on Sunday he was open to expanding the number of justices that sit on the Supreme Court should Democratic nominee Joe Biden be elected president.

“Like Joe Biden, I’m not a fan of expanding the court but we have a few weeks here to see whether there are four Republicans who will step back from this precipice,” Coons told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Coons argued that President Trump was pushing the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett through to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a pandemic, a common criticism from Democrats throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Coons characterized the focus on Biden’s intentions with the Supreme Court as a distraction, echoing a sentiment by Biden when asked if he would be in favor of allowing more than nine justices on the high court.

“[Republicans are] doing this to get someone on the court just in time, a week after the election, to take away critical health care protections from a majority of Americans, we need to focus on that,” Coons said. “And then if we happen to be in the fact pattern where we have a President Biden who will have to look at what the right steps are to rebalance our federal judiciary.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on Barrett’s nomination this week, with the full chamber likely to approve her confirmation before Election Day.

Biden has spent weeks avoiding answering the question of whether he would support an expanded court. During a town hall on Thursday, Biden said he would leave the door open to the possibility. 

Tags 2020 presidential election Affordable Care Act Amy Coney Barrett Amy Coney Barrett Chris Coons Chris Coons Donald Trump Jake Tapper Jake Tapper Joe Biden Joe Biden Supreme Court
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