The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Supreme Court

President Biden: Supreme Court Is Not "Normal," But Should Not Be Expanded

The President strongly criticized the Supreme Court's recent decisions, but refuses to endorse radical reform.


In prepared remarks yesterday, President Biden condemned the Supreme Court's decision to dramatically restrict the use of race in college admissions in SFFA v. Harvard. He said he strongly disagreed with the decision. The Court "once again walked away from decades of precedent" and "effectively ended affirmative action in college admissions." When asked by a reporter whether the Supreme Court is "a rogue court," the President responded: "this is not a normal court."

Speaking later to MSNBC, however, the President rejected proposals to increase the size of the Court as a way to shift its ideological balance. Reuters reports:

President Joe Biden said it would be a mistake to expand the membership of the U.S. Supreme Court after it struck down race-conscious admission considerations on Thursday but thinks the institution is out of touch with basic American values. . . .

Biden told MSNBC in New York that the court "may do too much harm but I think if we start the process of trying to expand the court, we are going to politicize it maybe forever, in a way that is not healthy."

Biden also said the court's value system is different and it's not as embracing. . . .

Liberal Democratic lawmakers have proposed expanding the number of Supreme Court justices, possibly ending its conservative majority, but the plan has not been embraced by the White House and other Democrats.

UPDATE: The full MSNBC interview is available here.