Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden provided three reasons on Sunday for why he will not release his own list of potential Supreme Court nominees—and why he says he is against the practice at all—including the possibility that releasing a list could potentially affect an individual judge’s decision making.
“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, or at least create the perception [that] it would have influence,” said Biden in remarks Sunday. “Second: anyone put on a list like that, under these circumstances, would 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 end without being able to defend herself.”
Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed in the early 1990s, also said he wasn’t going to release the names of potential picks to avoid making the process partisan, saying he would only make his choice after “consulting Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate and seeking their advice and asking for their consent.”
The Democratic nominee has resisted calls to release a list of potential nominees in the vein of President Donald Trump, who expanded his original list by over 20 and called on Biden earlier this month to release his own list.
During remarks earlier this month, President Trump suggested that Biden may already have judicial nominees for the Supreme Court in mind, but may be withholding them “because he knows the names are so extremely far left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance.”
“He must release a list of justices for people to properly make a decision as to how they will vote,” said Trump, adding: “It is very important that he do so.”
In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Trump has vowed to nominate a woman to the nation’s highest court, which narrows down the potential choices to twelve, should he stick to the list as he has with his past two nominations. According to multiple media reports, two current favorites for the position are Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and Eleventh Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, who was added to the Supreme Court nominee list earlier this month. Both choices are unique in that neither attended Harvard or Yale Law Schools, where all of the current sitting justices studied.
Biden promised earlier this year to “appoint the first black woman to the courts,” although he declined to list names. However, Biden reiterated Sunday that his “first choice for the Supreme Court will make history as the first African American woman justice.”