During a campaign event in Arizona on Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden dodged a question on Supreme Court packing, refusing to share his opinion on extending the number of judges until the election is over.
"You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over. It’s a great question, and I don’t blame you for asking", Biden said. "...The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that!"
Both Biden and his VP pick, California Senator Kamala Harris have avoided rolling out a clear position on court packing. The vice presidential candidate was reluctant to answer the question during the VP debate, while Biden has repeatedly refused to voice a commitment on the issue, preferring to point fingers at Trump and denounce him for nominating Barrett.
VIDEO: #Biden On Whether He Supports Increasing The Number Of Supreme Court Justices So #Democrats Can Pack The Court, "You'll know my opinion on court-packing when the ELECTION IS OVER." - @JoeBiden in Arizona pic.twitter.com/AgcXSnuZPg— John Basham 🇺🇲 (@JohnBasham) October 9, 2020
The Supreme Court issue has become acute in the presidential race, after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, opening a vacancy in the Court - one that Trump is eager to fill.
The move received immediate criticism from Democrats who believe that the vacancy should be filled only following the presidential election, while the GOP insist that Trump, as an incumbent president, had every right to nominate Barrett.
As Barrett is scheduled to stand in front of the Senate for confirmation hearings that begin next week - hearings that Trump earlier predicted would be "easy and quick" - some members of the Democratic party see court packing as a "defensive move" against the Republicans.
“We should leave all options on the table, including the number of justices that are on the Supreme Court,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said earlier in September.
Some in the GOP slammed an idea they claim would undermine democracy and "destroy the credibility of our nation’s highest court".
Constitutionally, the number of justices in the Supreme Court is not limited but has consisted of nine judges for over a century.
Biden's Body Language VS Trump's Power Postures
Darren Stanton, TV’s Human Lie Detector & World’s Leading Body Language Expert, has analysed the postures of the key rivals at the upcoming US presidential elections.
"Unlike Trump who has a number of trademark gestures- the handshake bone crusher, power postures like pulling his shoulders back to make himself larger which is a psychological way of seeming more important, particularly gestures with his fingers to make a point, Biden chose not to go with any of that and seems to adopt the more simple no tie, no suit, just a man in shirt sleeves. This approach is used to say unconsciously: "I’m one of you."
According to Stanton, Biden seems very natural, his gestures are not rehearsed or contrived (unlike Trump who sometimes seems too rehearsed).
"He goes against the traditional slick rehearsed politicians are usually advised to do. An example of this is at times he puts his hands in his pockets when telling personal stories. This gesture sometimes is thought to denote the speaker to be hiding so right or something a being disingenuous but with Biden, it seems to make him seem more sincere," says the expert.
Biden's other main gesture is clasping his hands, Stanton notes. According to him, Biden tends to rely on anecdotal stories a lot in an attempt to build deep rapport with the audience.
"I did not see any signs of deceptive behaviour or any gestures that did not seem congruent with what he was saying verbally. His style is calm and gentle, unlike Trump's. Arizona is a key state that is vital to the Trump camp however based on my evaluation and the opinion polls seem to agree with me that the people of Arizona liked Biden's address and said he came across as sincere, genuine and caring. What has traditionally been thought of as a Republican state might just have begun to give the Biden and the Democratic Party viral points they need to reach the White House. I think it will be interesting to see if Trump declines the next crucial debate with Biden later in the month," Stanton said.
He added that in his opinion, the pair increased their chances of winning this election "by simply being authentic, avoiding the usual rhetoric and speaking about what matters to people at the grass-root level."