President Biden is stepping up his criticism of the Supreme Court, calling it “more of an advocacy group” than “evenhanded” after the court struck down the constitutional right to an abortion.
Biden’s assessment came Tuesday night toward the end of remarks at a virtual fundraiser for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) as he laid out what he sees at stake for Democrats in November’s midterm elections.
“So, I view this … off-year election as one of the most important elections that I’ve been engaged in, because a lot can change because the institutions have changed,” Biden said. “The Supreme Court is more of an advocacy group these days than it is … evenhanded.”
Biden has taken repeated shots at the court since June, when it overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision on abortion. The court now has a 6-to-3 conservative supermajority.
In public comments last month, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the authority of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution.
“You don’t want the political branches telling you what the law is, and you don’t want public opinion to be the guide about what the appropriate decision is,” he said.
Speaking Wednesday to reporters traveling with Biden on Air Force One, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden maintains his respect for the “institution of the court” but will not be silent when he disagrees with its rulings, including on abortion.
“He’s expressed his deep concern that this was an extreme and radical decision based on throwing out many decades of precedent,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve got to remember, this was almost 50 years of a precedent that we saw the Supreme Court overturn.”
During his presidency, Donald Trump bristled over several of the court’s decisions, some regarding policy, others on his false claims about a rigged 2020 election. When the court in December 2020 rejected Trump’s legal challenge aimed at overturning the election, Trump tweeted: “The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!”
Earlier in his remarks Tuesday night, Biden sought to frame the choices facing voters next month.
“We’re less than 30 days away from the midterms, and the stakes are clear,” he said. “The right to choose is on the ballot. Your Social Security you paid for your whole life is on the ballot. The safety of our kids and gun violence is on the ballot. Literally, the survival of the planet is … on the ballot. And your right to vote. And democracy itself is … on the ballot.”