Biden's non-answer answer on police and 'court-packing'

Biden's non-answer answer on police and 'court-packing'
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Beyond explaining whether he would pack the court, former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: 'We won't forget this' MORE must explain his contradiction regarding the police.

While the former has rightly gotten major focus, the latter has received comparatively little attention. Biden’s indictment of America’s law enforcement and justice system has even greater implications than manipulating the nation’s highest court. 

The left are demanding that Democrats pack the Supreme Court with liberal-leaning judges if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate this November. Biden has raised concerns among moderates and conservatives by seeking to avoid answering whether he would attempt to do so. 


On Oct. 8, Biden stated, “You’ll know my position on court-packing the day after the election.” Biden’s non-answer only raised more questions, like whether “voters deserve to know,” to which he responded, “No they don’t.” Three days later, Biden again tried to evade the question, “I’ve already spoken on — I’m not a fan of court-packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue.” 

Perhaps no Biden non-answer has received more attention than this one; however, an earlier equivocation — also regarding America’s justice system — has even greater implications. 

During the presidential debate, moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Republican National Committee chair warns of 'most progressive, radical takeover of our country' if Biden wins Chris Wallace teases Sunday interview with 'bestie' Ice Cube MORE asked Biden, “Do you believe that there is a separate but unequal system of justice for Blacks in this country?” Biden unequivocally stated, “Yes, there is. There’s systemic injustice in this country, in education and work and law enforcement and the way in which it’s enforced.” 

In contrast to his opaque answer on court-packing, his answer on the justice system seemingly could not have been clearer. Yet Biden was not done, “But look, the vast majority of police officers are good, decent, honorable men and women.”

Only by pausing to parse Biden’s answer, does its non-answer quality become apparent. Asked if there was “a separate but unequal system of justice,” Biden actually broadened the indictment beyond justice to include “education and work.”  Then, he tried to ameliorate it in part by praising police officers. 


What Biden tried to describe is a broad systemic injustice enforced by overwhelmingly “good, decent, honorable” people. Biden leaves us with a philosophical paradox akin to whether a tree falling in an empty forest makes a sound. How is one “good” while serving an unjust system? Despite the many questions Biden’s reasoning should prompt there is one answer that is clear: no occupation would appreciate being so identified. Nor was any other so directly called out as “law enforcement.”

While we seem to be left with two Biden non-answers, Biden’s non-answer on America’s system of justice (or as Biden would have it, “injustice”) gives us his implicit answer on packing the court. The key to that answer lies in Biden’s most important political audience. 

Above all others, Biden must appease the left politically; he cannot win without them. Biden ran his entire nomination campaign at them and away from his establishment past. To understand his non-answers, we must listen to his responses through the ears of the left. 

Biden’s ambiguous answer on America’s “systemic injustice” enforced by “good” police is not ambiguous to the left at all. For the left, there is no redemption for a good individual within a bad system. For them, such a contradiction cannot exist. If individuals participate in a bad system, they are defined by it and they do not lessen it. This lies at the heart of their cancel culture and drives their destruction of the statues of American historical figures. For the left, an individual existing in a system they deem to be bad is not pardoned, but guilty by association. 

Likewise, if there is a bad system, the left demands it be changed. Biden and the left do not see America’s “bad system” as being limited to policing alone. When asked during the debate, Biden readily broadened his criticism far beyond just the justice system to “education and work,” which encompasses the bulk of Americans’ lives. 

Facing such “systemic injustice,” as Biden described it, then everything is justified in addressing it. With such a mindset, packing the court is not just permissible, but assuredly required by the left. 

Of course, Biden’s ambiguous answer on America’s justice system — condemning the system but exonerating those operating it — was done with moderate independent voters in mind. These are people Biden does not want to worry now as he tries to appeal to the left. The problem is that while moderate independent voters may be in Biden’s mind, the left are in his vanguard. 

By seeking to ambiguously state his position on America’s police and justice system, Biden has inadvertently removed any ambiguity from his non-answer on packing the court. For the left, to whom Biden is beholden, the Supreme Court is just a means, not an end, to enforcing a broad judicial reformulation across American society — education and work and law enforcement.”

The left’s aim is not just packing the court, but repacking what they see as America’s inequitable society. This is what they are hearing in Biden’s answers — and will be demanding later.

J.T. Young served under President George W. Bush as the director of communications in the Office of Management and Budget and as deputy assistant secretary in legislative affairs for tax and budget at the Treasury Department. He served as a congressional staffer from 1987 through 2000.