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Biden tells Black voters he will put progressives on Supreme Court in second term

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President Biden on Wednesday promised to nominate progressives to the Supreme Court if he wins a second term in the White House.

Biden made the pledge at a “Black Voters for Biden-Harris” rally in Philadelphia, where he predicted that more than one Supreme Court justice will retire in the next four years.

“The next president, they’re going to be able to appoint a couple justices, and I’ll be damned — if in fact we’re able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in really progressive judges like we’ve always had, tell me that won’t change your life,” Biden told his audience. 

The president’s comments emphasize what is at stake in the next election for both conservatives, who have lauded their 6-3 majority on the court in recent years, and progressives who have decried landmark rulings ending federal protections for abortion and expanding gun rights.

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Biden’s remarks also serve as a reminder that several justices are in their seventies. Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, both conservatives appointed by Republican presidents, are 75 and 74, respectively. Sonia Sotomayor, a progressive appointed by President Obama, will turn 70 next month.

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Supreme Court Justices sitting for a portrait.

If one or more justices retire, the next occupant of the White House will fill that vacancy and may reshape the composition of the court for decades. Former President Trump had three such opportunities during his term in office, appointing conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barret — who solidified the current conservative majority.

With the election a little more than six months away, the Biden campaign is sounding the alarm on what could happen if Trump wins as polls show a tight race. 

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President Biden speaks to audience at Philadelphia rally

First lady Jill Biden said Wednesday there would be disastrous results and a loss of human rights if Trump is re-elected in November.

“We will lose all of our rights,” she said on “The View.” She had warned earlier that “we cannot take things for granted, and think of the Supreme Court for God’s sake. Talk about things getting worse? Can you imagine if we put any more Republicans on the Supreme Court? No!”

The rhetoric from the Biden campaign echoes Trump’s 2016 strategy after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, with a pending Supreme Court appointment. Trump promised to nominate a conservative who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established constitutional protections for abortion, and he even released a list of people he was considering for the position.

Biden in 2020 promised to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court if given the opportunity. He did so after Justice Stephen Breyer retired at age 83, nominating Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the vacancy.

Fox News’ Alexander Hall contributed to this report.

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