Joe Biden in 1983 delivers an impassioned speech against FDR's proposal to "pack the courts."
Joe Biden in 1983 delivers an impassioned speech against FDR's proposal to "pack the courts." (Image: Washington Free Beacon YouTube page via C-Span)

Video Surfaces of Biden in 1983: FDR’s Court-Packing Proposal was a ‘Bonehead Idea’

Democrat Presidential Nominee Joe Biden might be unwilling to offer his view on “packing the courts” in 2020, but he had no problem flapping his gums about it in 1983, calling it a “bonehead idea.”

Biden was just a U.S. Senator from Delaware when he made the comments during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in July 1983 regarding nominations to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

At the time, Republican President Ronald Reagan had infuriated Democrats by attempting to replace three members of the commission, as noted by Fox News. Biden compared Reagan’s move to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unsuccessful attempts in 1937 to expand the number of Justices on the Supreme Court by six, thus, “packing the court.”

“President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the court. It was totally within his right to do that. He violated no law. He was legalistically, absolutely correct,” Biden told the committee. “But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make. And it put in question, if for an entire decade, the independence of the most-significant body … in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

Sometimes you wonder if Democrats are aware of the fact that we’ve possessed the technology in the United States to record video of politicians for quite some time.

Fun Fact: Do you know who else was against packing the courts? Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In fact, she outright criticized proposals put forth by some Democratic presidential candidates in 2019 who advocated against changing the number of Supreme Court justices if the Democrats won the presidency.

“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” the late justice told NPR adding, “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”

So the next time Senator Kamala Harris goes off on a rant about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy, tell her to “Stop speaking. Stop speaking. You’re speaking and we want you to ever so kindly stuff it.”


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