One critic called Biden’s lack of action ‘hopelessly naive’
According to Daniels, many of the people who were part of this commission are frustrated that Biden has refused their recommendations for court reforms and are giving him the “I told you so” treatment after the court’s “rightward turn.”
Daniels began, “The recommendations issued by that bipartisan commission were moderate in scope, focusing on matters of transparency and ethics. Ultimately, they were brushed aside, ignored by a president largely resistant to large-scale reforms.”
Daniels spoke to former U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner, one of the commission members, who said the Roe reversal and other recent decisions “vindicated her belief that more seats should be added to the nine-member body.”
Gertner claimed she is “deeply frustrated” that Biden has not done anything to stop the conservative-majority court form doing “whatever it wanted to do.”
The author spoke to others annoyed with President Biden’s reluctance to heed recommendations of reform, writing, “A growing number of voices on the left now say the Biden administration has deeply underappreciated the problems presented by the conservative court.”
Daniels quoted Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, who slammed Biden, saying, “His admiration for the court as an institution has been overtaken by reality. And I think it’s time to wake up.” Tribe also torched the institution, claiming, “”It’s the court itself that has plunged ahead without any inhibition on a kind of highly activist, agenda driven, right-wing ideological jihad.”
The report also mentioned how Biden’s staffers and White House aides “reject the idea that Biden is not sufficiently animated about the court’s rightward turn.” They have mentioned how he has made “immediate and multiple rebukes of the court’s decision to overturn Roe,” and that he’s called the decision “extremist” and “awful,” among other things.
Though, as Daniels indicated, Biden’s people “downplay the idea that court expansion is the answer, framing it as a type of political fanfic popular on the left but with no roots in governing realities.”
Some of Biden’s less radical critics admit they did not think he would commit to expanding the court but “they also want him to stop taking it off the table and to criticize the court more forcefully and consistently.”
Commission member Michael Klarman, a Harvard Law professor, asked, “If you’re in a kind of theoretical game situation with an opponent who begins acting in bad faith, what do you do?”
“Do you continue to play by the rules and hope that will incentivize them to return to the norms? Or do you retaliate in a tit for tat way and thus hopefully incentivize [them] to go back to the traditional norms?” he continued. He then slammed Biden’s strategy in dealing with the Supreme Court.
“I think you’re a fool for not doing what’s in your power to try to protect the system,” Klarman stated, adding that Biden is “hopelessly naive.”
Daniels also quoted Brian Fallon, executive director of Supreme Court reform group Demand Justice, who asked, “Why does Joe Biden consider it his job to keep the public having confidence in a court that is completely working to thwart his agenda?” Fallon wondered why Biden hasn’t done more to intimidate the court or the GOP into backing off its agenda.
Though Daniels added it is not all bad marks for Biden from his side on the issue. “Democrats and reformists did credit Biden for embracing a carve out in the filibuster to codify Roe, despite Democrats not having the votes to do so,” he stated.