Former Vice President Joe Biden made false claims in a Sunday speech in which he urged Senate Republicans to let the winner of the presidential election fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.
We’re still poring over the transcript of Biden’s address in Philadelphia, but here are two initial fact checks.
The Trump campaign’s demand for a list
Biden argued that it would be inappropriate for him to release a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees, as Trump did during the 2016 campaign and did again this month.
Biden also claimed that the Trump campaign had not asked him to release such a list until after Ginsburg died.
“We can’t keep rewriting history, scrambling norms, ignoring our cherished system of checks and balances. That includes this whole business of releasing a list of potential nominees that I would put forward. They’re now saying, after they — after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, they said, ‘Biden should release his list.’ It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release the list only after she passed away. It’s a game for them. It’s a play to gin up emotions and anger,” he said.
Facts First: This is just wrong. The Trump campaign and Trump himself had repeatedly said prior to Ginsburg’s death that Biden should release a list of prospective Supreme Court nominees.
When Trump released his latest list on September 9, the Trump campaign’s statement said in its title that “Biden must do the same.” The campaign repeated the demand for a Biden list in a statement on September 17, the day before Ginsburg died.
Trump had previously issued the same demand himself. In an August 24 speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump said, “I’m demanding, actually, a list: let Biden put up a list of the judges he’s going to appoint.” And in a June 22 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said, “You ought to ask a guy like a Biden or ask his campaign: give a list of judges, see where they stand on pro-life, see where they stand on it.”
Supreme Court dates
To bolster his case that the Senate should wait to confirm the next justice, Biden said: “By the way, there’s no court session between now and the end of this election.”