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Biden Seeks Voter Support to Counter Supreme Court’s Influence on His Agenda

by Joshua Brown
1 comment
Supreme Court's influence

President Joe Biden, faced with significant setbacks from the Supreme Court, is determined to ensure that voters have the final say on his policy agenda.

When the court’s conservative majority effectively derailed his plan to cancel or reduce federal student loan debts for millions of individuals, Biden expressed disappointment, stating, “Republicans snatched away the hope that they were given.” In response to the justices ending race-based affirmative action in college admissions, he criticized the court, saying, “This is not a normal court.” Additionally, when Roe v. Wade and the national right to abortion were overturned last year, Biden emphasized the need for voters to voice their opinions.

As Biden approaches the 2024 election, he not only faces opposition from the Republicans who control half of Congress but also from the conservative bloc that dominates the highest court in the nation. While stopping short of advocating for a complete overhaul of the Supreme Court, his approach towards it has subtly shifted to treating it more like a political entity.

This shift is evident in various aspects, including the messaging from the White House and the administration’s legal strategy. Ron Klain, Biden’s former chief of staff, explained, “The president respects the court’s authority, but if its judgments are going to be political and there are members of the court who are saying that, he owes it to voters to make it clear what his positions are and what he’s doing to address it.”

Although Biden, who previously led the Senate Judiciary Committee, aims to highlight the court’s politicization to garner voter support, he has not embraced any proposals for significant changes to the court’s structure.

Instead, Biden increasingly emphasizes his belief that the court is departing from mainstream constitutional interpretation. He urges voters to elect more Democrats to Congress and a Democrat to the White House to counterbalance the influence of the conservative-leaning court.

While Biden has achieved victories in cases such as immigration before a court where conservatives hold a 6-3 majority, the recent defeat on student loans marked a term in which the justices imposed substantial roadblocks.

According to White House officials, Biden remains determined to explore alternative avenues to advance his priorities and educate the American people about the challenges he faces.

Chris Kang, chief counsel of the progressive group Demand Justice and a former deputy counsel to President Barack Obama, commented, “There’s only upside in running against the court as an institution because the court is doing things that are wildly unpopular and they’re preventing the president from implementing his agenda.”

Republicans, on the other hand, aim to portray Biden as exceeding his legal authority in pursuit of his agenda. They argue that the court’s policies align with the sentiments of a significant portion of the country and use court rulings to motivate their own voters.

Former President Donald Trump praised the three justices he nominated to the Supreme Court during a recent conference, highlighting their role in overturning Roe v. Wade and receiving applause for the accomplishment.

While the court’s conservative dominance may have reduced the political cost to Biden when his actions face legal challenges, Biden’s team maintains that everything he has proposed is legally sound and approved by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Confidence in the Supreme Court hit its lowest point in at least 50 years following the leaked draft opinion in the abortion case in 2022. Favorable views of the court are now predominantly held by Republicans, while Democrats’ positive perception has significantly declined.

Recognizing the impact of judges as a voting factor, Democrats have begun prioritizing judicial nominations. Biden has appointed a record number of judges for a president at this point in his first term, including diverse picks. However, these appointments provide only partial relief in light of the challenges posed by the Supreme Court.

Biden warns voters about potential future actions by the court, such as rolling back same-sex marriage rights or limiting access to contraception. White House spokesman Andrew Bates emphasized that Biden aims to inform the American people about the consequences of the court’s decisions on their fundamental freedoms and daily lives.

Biden’s hesitation to pursue extensive reshaping of the Supreme Court stems from a respect for history. In the face of major civil rights cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade, advocates for social change stood by the court, upholding its autonomy as a means to progress. For an establishment Democrat like Biden, deviating from that approach is not easy.

While it is unlikely that Biden will pursue court expansion, legal expert Leah Litman suggests that Democrats could focus on other strategies to push back against the court’s influence, such as term limits, jurisdictional limitations, and ethics reforms.

In summary, President Biden seeks to rally voter support to counter the Supreme Court’s impact on his agenda. He highlights the court’s politicization while refraining from advocating for significant structural changes. By emphasizing the need for Democratic control of Congress and the White House, Biden aims to balance the influence of the conservative-leaning court.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Supreme Court’s influence

What setbacks has President Biden faced from the Supreme Court?

President Biden has faced setbacks from the Supreme Court on various issues. These include the court effectively ending his plan to cancel or reduce federal student loan debts, ending race-based affirmative action in college admissions, and overturning Roe v. Wade and the national right to abortion.

How is President Biden responding to the Supreme Court’s influence?

President Biden is responding to the Supreme Court’s influence by seeking voter support. While he acknowledges the court’s authority, he highlights its politicization and urges voters to make their voices heard. He emphasizes the need for more Democrats in Congress and a Democrat in the White House to counterbalance the conservative-leaning court.

Is President Biden advocating for an overhaul of the Supreme Court?

No, President Biden is not advocating for a complete overhaul of the Supreme Court. While he treats the court more like a political entity, he has not embraced proposals for significant changes to its structure. He aims to address the court’s influence through voter support and highlighting the need for Democratic control of Congress and the White House.

How has confidence in the Supreme Court changed?

Confidence in the Supreme Court has declined, particularly among Democrats. Following a leaked draft opinion in an abortion case, positive views of the court among Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents dropped significantly. Republicans, on the other hand, have increasingly favorable views of the court. This partisan gap in perception is the largest in the 35 years of polling conducted by the Pew Research Center.

What strategies are Democrats considering to push back against the Supreme Court’s influence?

While President Biden is hesitant to pursue extensive reshaping of the Supreme Court, some Democrats are considering alternative strategies. These include exploring options like term limits, jurisdictional limitations, and ethics reforms. However, it is important to note that these proposals are not explicitly endorsed by President Biden himself.

More about Supreme Court’s influence

  • Supreme Court: Official website of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Biden’s Agenda: Official White House webpage detailing President Biden’s agenda.
  • Demand Justice: Progressive group advocating for a fair and just judiciary.
  • Pew Research Center: Nonpartisan research organization providing data and insights on public opinion, including views on the Supreme Court.
  • Brown v. Board of Education: Information on the landmark Supreme Court case regarding racial segregation in schools.
  • Roe v. Wade: Details of the Supreme Court case that established the constitutional right to abortion.

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1 comment

LinguisticGuru July 10, 2023 - 12:53 am

I gotta say, the writing style of this text is quite informal and filled with errors. Starting sentences with lowercase letters and skipping punctuation can make it difficult to read and understand the message clearly. It’s important to maintain proper grammar and punctuation to convey information effectively.

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