Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden arrives at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on October 19, 2020 to record an interview with Norah O'Donell of CBS 60 Minutes that is scheduled to air on Sunday. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden arrives at the Queen Theater on October 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware to record an interview with CBS "60 Minutes" that will air Sunday evening. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

To Fix 'Out of Whack' US Judiciary and Supreme Court, Biden Says He'll Create Commission to Study Reforms

"There's a number of alternatives that... go well beyond packing," Biden asserted. "The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football."

Brett Wilkins

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that if elected, he will form a commission of constitutional scholars to explore "how to reform the court system" that will go "well beyond" increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

In an interview recorded on Monday and scheduled to air on this Sunday's broadcast of "60 Minutes," Biden told CBS News reporter Norah O'Donnell that he would "put together a national commission, a bipartisan commission of scholars, constitutional scholars, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, [and] conservatives." 

"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," Biden said. 

The former vice president insisted his plan is "not about court packing," or adding more justices to the Supreme Court in a bid to thwart a conservative supermajority on the nation's highest court. 

"There's a number of alternatives that... go well beyond packing," Biden asserted. "The last thing we need to do is turn the Supreme Court into just a political football, whoever has the most votes gets whatever they want."

"Presidents come and go," he added. "Supreme Court justices stay for generations."

Biden insisted there is widespread bipartisan support for judicial reform and that "a lot of conservative constitutional scholars" agree that changes are needed.

The candidate's comments were reported as Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, who is set to become President Donald Trump's third appointee to the high court. The full Senate is expected to vote to approve Barrett's appointment on Monday. 

All 10 Democrats on the committee staged a symbolic boycott of the vote, filling their empty seats with photos of constituents whose lives depend on the the Affordable Care Act. Barrett has questioned the constitutionality of the life-saving healthcare law, writing (pdf) in 2017 that Chief Justice John Roberts "pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Texas Democrat Demands Federal Probe of Police Response to Uvalde Shooting

"State officials have provided conflicting accounts that are at odds with those provided by witnesses," said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Jake Johnson ·

'No Time to Waste': New Nationwide March For Our Lives Protests Set for June 11

"Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased. Now is the moment we march again."

Brett Wilkins ·

'We Need Fewer Guns in Schools, Not More': Teachers Reject GOP Call for Armed Educators

"Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards," the president of a leading teachers' union asserted in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

Brett Wilkins ·

Faith Leaders, Teachers Mobilize for Protests at NRA's Houston Meeting in Wake of Uvalde Massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

Julia Conley ·

NY Appeals Court Rules Trump and Two of His Kids Must Testify in Financial Fraud Case

"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo