Americans in a huge problem: Joe Biden hid his political agenda from his followers
As the Senate moves forward on the president's Supreme Court pick, both former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, continue to deflect when asked if they would try to add more justices to the nation's highest court, a practice known as court packing.
Biden and his party face increasing pressure because of the frustration of many progressives at the Republican effort to rush through a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a longtime liberal icon, with Amy Coney Barrett just before the Nov. 3 election. Because the addition of Barrett is expected to create a conservative majority on the high court some have called for adding more justices.
The question of adding seats to the Supreme Court also hinges on the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, where Republicans currently hold a slim 53 to 47 majority. If Democrats are able to wrest control of the GOP, maintain control of the U.S. House and Biden wins the presidency, the party would need to pass legislation expanding the court beyond its current limit of nine justices.
But while 57% of Americans surveyed in a recent poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post say the Senate should wait to replace Ginsburg until after the election, a nearly equal majority, 54%, are opposed to adding seats to the Supreme Court.
That puts Biden in a tricky position and he's been dealing with that by saying he won't answer the question until after the election because it will shift the focus off of more fundamental issues like the economy and health care.
"You'll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over," Biden said, standing inside an airplane hangar at the Phoenix airport alongside Harris in Arizona on Thursday.
The deflections from the Democratic ticket have also given the Trump campaign an opening to hammer home the Biden campaign's refusal to clarify its position on court packing.
"The people ... are voting right now. They'd like to know if you and Joe Biden are going to pack the Supreme Court if you don't get your way in this nomination," said Vice President Mike Pence on the debate stage with Harris Wednesday night.
He later added, "The American people deserve a straight answer. And if you have not figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court, if they somehow win this election."
Instead of answering questions from debate moderator Susan Page about court packing, Harris spoke about why Abraham Lincoln didn't nominate a judge to fill a Supreme Court vacancy 27 days before he was up for reelection in 1864 and focused on the Trump administration's appointment of judges who were predominately white to the federal judiciary.
"Do you know that of the 50 people who President Trump appointed to the court of appeals for lifetime appointments, not one is Black. This is what they've been doing. You want to talk about packing a court? Let's have that discussion," said Harris.
In a post-debate call with reporters, Biden-Harris campaign Senior Adviser Symone Sanders defended the candidates' muddled response to questions on court packing, as the campaign has also been under increased pressure from journalists to provide answers on its stance.
"I think that Vice President Biden has been very clear. He's answered this question previously, he said this is not a hypothetical, that the answer is not productive and we shouldn't be on it speculating right now," she said.
Nadia Brown, a political science professor at Purdue University, says the Biden-Harris pattern of deflection on this issue allows the Trump campaign to tap into Republican fears of losing judicial power.
"[Pence] is speaking to those conservatives who are afraid of losing judicial power and saying this is the legacy that they have put in place. And all the other things they don't like about Trump are front and center, but they can hold onto this thing," said Brown in an interview with ABC News.
But not everyone agrees that Biden's approach is damaging.
"The party is not united on this issue [...] Part of it depends on the outcome of the election, including in the Senate, and where a majority of the party stands at that point," Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, told ABC News.
Still, Zelizer argued, there remains little political upside for Biden to take a stand on the issue of expanding the court, given most voters' focus on the state of the economy and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic that has already taken over 210,000 American lives.
"Why take a stand that would focus attention on this potential debate when there are so many real debates -- an unstable president, failed pandemic policies, the fragile economy -- right in front of him?" Zelizer posited.
"Although Washington loves this debate and Republicans want to make it a focus, most Americans care about jobs and health. Biden can easily say that will be an issue he addresses if and when he is president, and depending on what the Senate says," he added.
Some progressives have voiced their frustration that the Democratic Party seems unwilling to step outside the realm of normal business when it comes to fighting back against Republican efforts to force through Barrett's nomination.
Christopher Kang, the co-founder and chief counsel of Demand Justice, one of a growing list of Democratic advocacy organizations pushing the idea of Democrats expanding the Supreme Court, pointed to the fact Biden had not directly taken the idea of expanding the court off the table, and he argued that if Barrett is confirmed more Democrats might support the idea of adding members to the court.
He said the fact that Trump, who lost the popular vote, would have nominated three justices with lifetime appointments and that the court could continue to side with a minority political opinions would help his case.
“One of the things that's been holding Democrats back from supporting court expansion is they think it will make the court less legitimate or more political. I think that if Republicans exercise this raw political power to steal a second Supreme Court seat, within four years, the legitimacy of the Supreme Court will have hit rock bottom, there's no place lower to go. And the only way to actually preserve or restore any legitimacy will be to add seats,” Kang said.
On whether Harris and Biden should offer a definitive stance on court packing, Brown, the political scientist, said, "They should have an answer, but it should remain vague."
"I think that it's smart not to expose potential risks in the Democratic Party this close to the election," she said.
Biden's unwillingness to answer the question on court packing is a departure from his position during the Democratic primary, when he said he was opposed to the idea of expanding the Supreme Court.
Biden told the New York Times editorial board in a December 2019 interview that he opposed ideas like expanding the Supreme Court, abolishing the Electoral College and establishing term limits for justices because "it raises problems that are more damaging than the problem that exists."
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AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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The major problem towards deciphering the original plac…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underling truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to f…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
There are four generations…, and the fourth generation, which is the most exalted, is kingless and perfect. These people will enter the holy place of their Father and they will reside in rest … They are kings. They are the immortal within the mortal (The Nag Hammadi, 219)
Also read Nsukka Civilization: The Peopling of Ancient Nsukka One of the African homes that colonialism has completely deformed beyond certain level of recognition is Nsukka. Colonialism apart, the most affecting factor to the survival of the meaning which the rich cultural enclave, Nsukka, carries will best be blamed on postcolonial political structure. The biggest harm all these have against Nsukka as a people is that they rubbed her of the meaning of her name; their place of origin; how their fathers managed to come into their present abodes and who their ancestors were. A profound understanding of the excerpt above will open the door towards deciphering the meaning and origin of the people called Nsukka. Geographica…
by Onyeji Nnaji Eha-Amufu
road newly constructed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state in 2019 Apart from the strategic location of the
Federal College of Education, one central reason remarkable about Eha-Amufu is
her central position and her boundary situation. Eha-Amufu stands at the centre
of many communities; as a result she has served as the gateway to different
communities. She is bounded to Nkalaha, Agala, Ikem, Umuero and other
communities, including Obeagu (pronounced Ubegu). Aside from that, Eha-Amufu embodies
the route that traces the way to the northern part of Nigeria for travellers
travelling from Ebonyi axis. Eha-Amufu also forms the remarkable boundary
community between Enugu State and Ebonyi State. This situation makes Eha-Amufu
very strategic in the discussion of the road and rivers across Ebonyi and
In the era when transportation on rail was
the order of the day, the most popular then ‘Express Train and later Diesel
Train’ and also the ‘local goods train’…