Biden Vows to Appoint Progressive Judges to Supreme Court if Re-elected

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President Joe Biden has vowed to nominate progressive judges to the Supreme Court if he secures a second term. This pledge, made during a rally in Philadelphia, underscores the potential impact on the judiciary’s future composition.

Why It Matters

The nomination of progressive justices could significantly influence landmark rulings, affecting policies on abortion, gun rights, and other critical issues.

Who It Impacts

The potential shift in the Supreme Court’s composition will impact U.S. citizens concerned with the direction of judicial decisions on key social and legal matters.

At a “Black Voters for Biden-Harris” rally in Philadelphia, President Joe Biden pledged to appoint progressive judges to the Supreme Court should he win a second term. Speaking to a crowd energized by the stakes of the upcoming election, Biden predicted that more than one Supreme Court justice would retire within the next four years. This presents a crucial opportunity for the next president to shape the judiciary’s future.

“The next president, they’re going to be able to appoint a couple justices, and I’ll be damned — if in fact we’re able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in really progressive judges like we’ve always had, tell me that won’t change your life,” Biden declared. His comments highlighted the contrasting visions between conservatives and progressives for the Supreme Court’s role in American life.

The significance of Biden’s remarks is underscored by the ages of several current justices. Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito are 75 and 74, respectively, while progressive Justice Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by President Obama, will turn 70 soon. The potential retirement of any of these justices could lead to pivotal shifts in the Court’s ideological balance, especially given the current 6-3 conservative majority solidified during Trump’s presidency.

During his term, former President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. These appointments have been central to significant rulings, including the end of federal protections for abortion and the expansion of gun rights. Biden’s promise to appoint progressive justices is aimed at countering this conservative stronghold and realigning the Court’s direction on key issues.

With the presidential election just over six months away, Biden’s campaign is keenly aware of the stakes. Polls show a tight race, and the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s composition is a critical talking point. First Lady Jill Biden echoed these concerns, warning on “The View” of the disastrous results if Trump were re-elected. “We will lose all of our rights,” she cautioned, emphasizing the importance of the Supreme Court in protecting human rights.

The Biden campaign’s rhetoric mirrors Trump’s strategy in the 2016 election following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump vowed to appoint a conservative justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade and released a list of potential nominees, ultimately reshaping the Court’s landscape. Biden’s similar approach, promising to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, led to the appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson after Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.

The future composition of the Supreme Court remains a pivotal issue in the upcoming election, with the potential to influence landmark decisions for decades to come. Biden’s promise to appoint progressive justices reflects a broader strategy to counter the current conservative majority and steer the judiciary toward a more progressive interpretation of the law.