Biden on packing the Supreme Court

During a town hall on Thursday, Joe Biden answered a question on if he supports packing the Supreme Court.

Video Transcript

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How about that question of expanding the court? Here's what you said exactly one year ago tonight at a Democratic debate. You said, I would not get into court packing-- I would not pack the court. That's not what you're saying now. Is the nomination of Judge Barrett reason enough to rethink your position?

The nomination. What I wanted to do, George-- you know if I answered the question directly, then all the focus should be on, what's Biden going to do if he wins? Instead of on, is it appropriate what is going on now?

And this is the thing that the president loves to do-- always take our eye off the ball what's at stake. One of the things Pete has suggested is-- and a number of constitutional scholars have suggested as well-- that there are at least four or five options that are available to determine whether or not you can change the way in which the court lifetime appointment takes place consistent, arguably, with the Constitution.

I have not been a fan of court packing because then it just generates what will happen-- whoever wins, it just keeps moving in a way that is inconsistent with what is going to be manageable.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're still not a fan?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, I'm not a fan. [? I'd then say, it ?] depends on how this turns out-- not how he wins, but how it's handled. How it's handled. But there's a number of things that are going to be coming up, and there's going to be a lot of discussion about other alternatives as well.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: What does that mean-- how it's handled? How will that determine [? the court expanding? ?]

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, for example, there's actually real [? wide ?] debate on the floor if people are really going to be able to have a time to go through this. You know, I don't know anybody who's gone on the floor that's been a controversial justice in terms of fundamentally altering the makeup of the court that's gone through in a day, kind of thing.

I mean, it depends on how much they rush this. And you think about it, George-- here you've got a lot of people not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to put food on the table, not being able to keep their business open, not being able to do anything to deal with what's going on in terms of the economy as a consequence of COVID. And they have no time to deal with that. But they have time to rush this through.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, right now, it looks like they're going to have a vote around Halloween. So if they vote on it--

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: That's before the election.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: If they vote on it before the election, you are open to expanding the court?

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I'm open to considering what happens from that point on.