Biden: No plans to match Trump's apex court picks

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden urged Senate Republicans not to vote on any candidate nominated to the Supreme Court as the November election approaches, calling his rival Donald Trump's plan an "exercise of raw political power".

WASHINGTON • US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will refrain from releasing a list of potential Supreme Court picks, according to a campaign official, resisting calls to match President Donald Trump's public roster of potential nominees.

Mr Biden had come under pressure after the death on Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to publish a list of people he might pick for the high court vacancy, given the opportunity.

The former vice-president has committed only to nominating a black woman to the court if he faces a vacancy as president.

Mr Trump said on Saturday that he expects to nominate a replacement for Ms Ginsburg this week and it would likely be a woman.

He complimented two appeals court judges said to be on his short list: Ms Amy Coney Barrett and Ms Barbara Lagoa.

Mr Biden said late on Friday that whoever wins the Nov 3 election should be the one to fill the vacancy left by Ms Ginsburg, while most Republicans have insisted the decision is up to Mr Trump, who had released an updated list of 20 potential nominees recently, even before Ms Ginsburg's death.

Just before Ms Ginsburg's death was announced, Mr Biden was asked about naming potential Cabinet officials or justices before the election.

"We're going through that now with the transition committee of the people whom I might choose," Mr Biden told reporters after a campaign stop in Duluth, Minnesota, on Friday.

"There's a lot of incredibly qualified people. What I want to make sure I do is keep the commitment that my government, assuming I win, my Cabinet and the White House look like the country."

When pressed about whether he would release any names before the election, Mr Biden said: "No, I don't think so."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2020, with the headline 'Biden: No plans to match Trump's apex court picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe