If Biden provides a clear indication that he intends to pack the court, the stance would likely deter moderate or independent voters that he needs to win the tight race to the White House. In recent weeks, Biden said giving a response to the question “will shift the focus” of the election.

“That’s what [Trump] wants. He never wants to talk about the issue at hand and he always tries to change the subject. … The discussion should be about why he is moving in a direction that’s totally inconsistent with what the founders wanted. The Constitution says voters get to pick a president who gets to make the pick and the Senate gets to decide,” Biden told WBAY News last month. “We’re in the middle of the election right now,” he added. “You know, people are voting now. By the time this Supreme Court hearing would be held, if they hold one, it’s estimated 30 to 40 percent of American people already have voted. It is a fundamental breach of constitutional principle. It must stay on that and it shouldn’t happen.”

As the Barrett hearings next week loom large, however, Republicans will turn up the heat on Democrats over their court-packing plans. It could prove to be a potent political weapon in a turbulent election.