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Expanding the Court Gains Critical Ground

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 3, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets California voters at the famous Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday March 3, 2020. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 3, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets California voters at the famous Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, California on Tue... LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 3, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden meets California voters at the famous Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday March 3, 2020. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 19, 2020 10:45 a.m.

Immediately after I started saying that Democrats should expand the number of Justices on the Court in response to Republican court packing, I heard from a couple people telling me that the coteries around Pelosi and Biden were saying, no way. Not happening. (Interestingly, I heard a pretty different message from within the Senate caucus leadership – which is and should be the real locus of decision-making.)

But things are changing. Last week Joe Biden shifted his public statements to explicitly connecting his decision on expanding the Court to the outcome of the Barrett confirmation process. Her confirmation is of course a foregone conclusion. But clarifying the cause and effect, the order of events is critical: Democrats are reacting to and trying to repair the damage caused by Republican court-packing and corruption. If Republicans are upset by the prospect of all their hard work and corrupt acts going up in smoke with a simple majority vote they can take the opportunity to rethink their next actions.

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