changing views
September 26, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has gone on record multiple times in the past to nix the idea of adding more seats to the Supreme Court. But, recently, in light of President Trump's plan to nominate a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — reportedly Amy Coney Barrett, who is well-respected by conservatives and would theoretically shift the high court to a 6-3 conservative majority — before the November election, Biden exhibited a slight change of tone.

When asked about court expansion earlier this week, Biden responded that it was a "legitimate question." He didn't elaborate, and there's no reason to believe he's drastically altered his view, but, as The New York Times reports, "that he would even publicly entertain the idea of adding justices as 'legitimate' is a telling signal of how far his thinking has traveled."

It also, per the Times, suggests that the way Biden views his old stomping grounds, the Senate, has shifted. The longtime senator from Delaware was a firm believer in the upper chamber's "culture of collegiality," the Times notes, which allowed him to strike up positive, friendly relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle back in the day. Now, though, that idealization may be fading as the Senate becomes more and more polarized, which may be swinging him toward positions he normally wouldn't espouse. "He's disappointed in a lot of the people in the Senate now and a lot of the people he knew — or thought he knew," Mike Gelacak, a former aide who has known Biden since law school, told the Times. "I think he has a hard time relating to it because that's not the way he operated, and it's not the way it used to be done. It's a different place." Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

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