Biden Sees Escalation On SCOTUS as a Balancing Act

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A growing number of Democrats are responding to a Trump replacement of Justice Ginsburg with more dramatic reforms than the party was previously considering, such as ending the Senate’s legislative filibuster and packing the courts.

Joe Biden and his campaign team see moderation as the smarter approach to Democrats’ frustration and anger, suggesting that incendiary escalation is a distraction from the issues that will defeat Trump in November.

Biden’s remarks in Wisconsin on Monday focused overwhelmingly on Trump’s failures on the pandemic and his divisiveness, the Supreme Court was not even mentioned. He focused on Trump’s hypocrisy of portraying himself as a man of the people when he is actually an elitist, caring only about the wealthy and Wall Street. Biden said Trump endangers his followers at rallies and has contempt for them.

“He loves his rallies. The next time he holds one, look closely,” Biden said. “Trump keeps his distance from anyone at the rally. The folks who come are packed in tight as they can be — risking disease, mostly without masks. But not Trump. He safely keeps his distance.”

Biden strategists are saying the election should not be a referendum on the Supreme Court, but on Trump and his handling of the economy and COVID, but that will be easier said than done as passions rise among Democrats with the looming battle over a nomination and appointment to SCOTUS.

Many prominent Democrats are threatening an escalation. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says all options should be on the table, including the number of justices on the court.

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) said that when Democrats control the Senate, they should eliminate the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court. Julián Castro, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) followed suit. Even Sen. Chuck Schumer declared, “Everything is on the table.”

During the primaries, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren talked Senate and Supreme Court reform, but Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden were anti-reform.

Supreme Court fights tend to matter to voters who are already engaged, so there is no way to know which party will benefit from the discourse over Ginsberg’s replacement.

One progressive strategist, Jonathon Tasini, admitted that it will drive people to vote, which could benefit Biden’s team as they push to engage young voters and blacks to care about voting.

“As the fight over the replacement continues, it is going to start to recede, like a lot of things,” he predicted. “After a few days of this, people are going to be back to thinking, ‘Am I going to be safe and healthy? Am I going to have a job?’ ”

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The Hill, WaPo, and Politico.