The Biden Standard

SEN. JOE BIDEN: ‘Action On A Supreme Court Nomination Must Be Put Off Until After The Election Campaign Is Over’


SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE), Then-Judiciary Committee Chairman: “…it is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not - and not - name a nominee until after the November election is completed.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16316-7, 6/25/1992)


BIDEN: In Multiple Instances, ‘The President Himself Withheld Making A Nomination Until After The Election Was Held’

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): “Can our Supreme Court nomination and confirmation processes, so racked by discord and bitterness, be repaired in a Presidential election year? History teaches us that this is extremely unlikely. Some of our Nation's most bitter and heated confirmation fights have come in Presidential election years. The bruising confirmation fight over Roger Taney's nomination in 1836; the Senate's refusal to confirm four nominations by President Tyler in 1844; the single vote rejections of nominees Badger and Black by lameduck Presidents Fillmore and Buchanan, in the mid-19th century; and the narrow approvals of Justices Lamar and Fuller in 1888 are just some examples of these fights in the 19th century.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16316, 6/25/1992)

  • BIDEN: “…in 1800, 1828, 1864, and 1956-the President himself withheld making a nomination until after the election was held. …it is time to consider whether this unbroken string of historical tradition should be broken. In my view, what history supports, common sense dictates in the case of 1992.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16316, 6/25/1992)


BIDEN: ‘The Senate Judiciary Committee Should Seriously Consider Not Scheduling Confirmation Hearings On The Nomination Until After The Political Campaign Season Is Over’

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): “The Senate, too, Mr. President, must consider how it would respond to a Supreme Court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year. It is my view that if the President goes the way of Presidents Fillmore and Johnson and presses an election-year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16317, 6/25/1992)

  • BIDEN: “I am sure, Mr. President, after having uttered these words some will criticize such a decision and say it was nothing more than an attempt to save the seat on the Court in the hopes that a Democrat will be permitted to fill it, but that would not be our intention, Mr. President, if that were the course to choose in the Senate to not consider holding hearings until after the election. Instead, it would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over. That is what is fair to the nominee and is central to the process. Otherwise, it seems to me, Mr. President, we will be in deep trouble as an institution.” (Sen. Biden, Congressional Record, S.16317, 6/25/1992)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations, Small Business