The Volokh Conspiracy

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Supreme Court

President Likens Supreme Court to an "Advocacy Group"

As the election approaches, the President sharpens his criticism of the Supreme Court.


Several news outlets, including CNN, NBC, and the Washington Postare reporting on comments President Biden made last night during a "virtual fundraiser" for a Democratic congressional candidate in which he likened the Supreme Court to an "advocacy group," though the precise words of his remarks vary slightly across the various accounts.

From the NBC account:

"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," he said. "The Supreme Court is more of an advocacy group these days than it is … evenhanded about it," Biden said when speaking about the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 8.

CNN deletes "of" from the quote, and adds "an" in the ellipsis. I have not seen video of the remarks, which apparently focused on the stakes in the upcoming election.

Historically, making the federal judiciary into a campaign issue has tended to help Republican candidates more than Democratic ones. Some Democrats–apparently including President Biden–are trying to change that in the wake of Dobbs. We will see whether these efforts are successful.