Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Sunday that he won’t release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees before the November election, as pressure mounts over the vacancy left in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday.
The former vice president has committed to nominating a Black woman to the bench, but has not gone any further publicly. President Donald Trump, who vowed to nominate a woman hours after Ginsburg’s death, had previously named more than 20 potential nominees. Speaking in Philadelphia, Biden outlined three reasons why he won’t release his roster, despite pushes from Republicans to do so.
“First, putting a judge’s name on a list like that could influence that person’s decision making as a judge, and that would be wrong,” Biden said. “Second, anyone put on a list like that under these circumstances will be subject to unrelenting political attacks because any nominee I would select would not get a hearing until 2021 at the earliest. She would endure those attacks for months on errand without being able to defend herself.”
He continued: “And thirdly and finally, perhaps most importantly, if I win, I’ll make my choice for the Supreme Court not based on a partisan election campaign, but on what prior presidents have done … only after consulting Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate and seeking their advice and asking for their consent.”
Prior to Ginsburg’s passing Friday evening, Biden said that he did not intend to provide his list of potential nominees ahead of the election.
Biden reiterated during his remarks in Philadelphia that if elected and given the opportunity to appoint someone to the high court, he would nominate a Black woman – a move that would make history.
The former vice president also said that if Trump nominates Ginsburg’s replacement before the election, but loses reelection, the President’s nomination should be “withdrawn” and Biden should nominate a person to fill the vacancy.
And, if Trump wins reelection, his nomination should receive a fair hearing on the Senate floor, Biden said.
“Voters have already begun casting their votes – in the millions,” he said. “And in just a few weeks we’re going to know who the voters of this nation have chosen as the next president. The United States Constitution was designed to give voters one chance, one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the court.”