Some aspiring court-packers thought they saw through the Biden plan. Aaron Belkin of Take Back the Courts and Brian Fallon of Demand Justice told the New York Times that Biden was just stalling, which he probably was. But the candidate finally copped some potential relief from reporters by giving a more concrete answer than “I’m not saying.”
If Biden wins the election and gets the right to launch his commission, what can we expect it to deliver? Next to nothing in the absence of Democratic majorities in both congressional chambers. As Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman wrote in 2014, bipartisan presidential commissions consistently produce one form of agreement—to ignore the commissions’ recommendations. Chapman highlights a few of the best-ignored recent commissions: Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which was largely disregarded and his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles), which was praised as much as it was snubbed. Writes Chapman, President George W. Bush pretty much did the opposite of what his 2006 Iraq Study Group recommended.