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Media: These examples do not show Biden politicizing the Supreme Court.

Biden’s Criticism of Supreme Court ⁣Rulings: A Closer Look

“Biden Criticizes Supreme Court ⁣Rulings, but Not the Court,” reads a recent New York Times ⁤headline. It’s a narrative that the Times and​ other media outlets have been pushing for years.

There’s just one problem: President Joe Biden’s actual words.

Biden’s reputation as a‍ defender of⁣ the conservative-majority Supreme Court dates back to⁤ his “return to normalcy” presidential campaign in 2020 when he ​defied angry progressives by stopping ‌short of promising to “pack” the bench. Never mind that Biden ⁢ called the Court “out of⁣ whack” and suggested he would consider ⁣”a number⁣ of alternatives⁣ that … go well beyond⁢ packing.”

“Surprise! Joe Biden is a Moderate Institutionalist!” blared CNN following ⁣Biden’s election.

The mainstream media have⁢ stubbornly stuck with its institutionalist Joe caricature even as President Biden ‍has ‌repeatedly railed against the Supreme Court‌ in⁣ highly partisan​ terms. Coverage has often ⁣downplayed—or tried to explain away—Biden’s attacks ​on the judges as “extreme,” ⁤”out of control,” and an ally of⁣ Republican extremists bent on taking away “our ‍freedoms.”

Typical of the trend⁣ was ‍a CBS News report ⁣last month on ‌Biden’s response to the Court restricting race-based affirmative action in university admissions: “Biden Says Supreme Court’s ​Affirmative Action Decision Can’t Be ‘The​ Last Word'”:

President Biden on Thursday expressed his disappointment⁢ with the Supreme Court’s ⁣ruling⁤ against affirmative action in college admissions, insisting​ the country “cannot let ‍this ‍decision be the ⁢last word.”

“While the court can render ⁤a​ decision, it ⁣cannot change what America stands for,” ​he said from the White House.

Only ⁢in the final line⁣ did CBS News note how Biden had launched a daylong assault on the Supreme Court ⁢itself by​ declaring, “This is not‌ a normal Court.”

In June 2022, after the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights, the ⁢ Washington​ Post ⁤similarly characterized Biden as simply focused on the decision. “Biden Sharply Ramps Up His Response to ‘Destabilizing’ Abortion Ruling,”⁣ was the ‍ Post’s headline.

The⁢ report ​made no mention​ of Biden’s broader denunciations: “Make no mistake: This decision ⁤is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by⁢ the​ Supreme Court,⁣ in my view.”

“With this decision, the conservative majority of the ⁣Supreme Court shows how extreme it is, how far removed ⁣they are from the majority of this country,” Biden added. “They ⁤have‌ made ​the United States an outlier among‍ developed nations ​in the world. But this decision must not be the final word.”

A few days later, the Times ran the bland headline, “Under Pressure, Biden Issues Executive Order⁢ on Abortion.”

Biden had suggested the Supreme Court was part of a right-wing authoritarian plot: “So, ⁢what‍ we’re witnessing wasn’t a constitutional judgment. It was an exercise in ⁣raw ​political power. … We cannot allow an out of control Supreme Court, working in conjunction with extremist elements of the Republican Party, to take away freedoms and our personal autonomy.”

When Biden ‌again took direct aim at the⁤ Supreme Court ahead of last year’s midterm elections, there was no new ruling to cover for the⁣ broadside. As reported ‌by the Post: “Biden says Supreme Court ‘more of an ⁣advocacy group’⁢ than ‘evenhanded’”:

President ‌Biden is stepping‍ up his criticism of the Supreme Court, calling it “more of an‌ advocacy group” than “evenhanded” after the ⁣court struck down the ⁢constitutional right​ to an abortion.

Still, the⁢ Post ‍ noted ⁤the White House’s claims that​ Biden draws ⁢a respectful‍ distinction between the Court ​and its decisions.

Speaking Wednesday to reporters⁤ traveling with Biden on Air Force One, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden maintains his respect for the “institution of the⁤ court” but will not be ⁤silent⁤ when he disagrees with ⁢its‍ rulings, including ⁢on abortion.

Biden had characterized ‌ the ​Court as an anti-democratic ⁢political actor: “The⁣ American people are, for‍ the first time in God knows how long, worried about ⁤whether we can keep our democracy. I view this—this off-year election ⁣as⁢ one ‌of the most important elections that I’ve been engaged in,⁢ because a lot can change, because the institutions ⁢have changed. The⁤ Supreme Court is more of⁢ an advocacy group these days ​than it is … evenhanded.”

Of‌ course,‍ the media have not always stuck to the “Joe Biden is a Moderate Institutionalist!” script. Times White House correspondent Michael Shear initially ⁢ described the president calling the Supreme Court not ⁢”normal” ​as “an extraordinarily critical assessment of another branch of‌ government shortly after ⁤the court’s conservative⁣ majority⁣ ended nearly a⁢ half-century‌ of affirmative action in college admissions.”

But last week, Shear decided that Biden has actually never attacked​ the Supreme Court. Under the headline⁤ “Biden Criticizes Supreme Court Rulings,⁣ but⁣ Not the Court,”‌ Shear⁣ argued: “Mr. Biden has resisted a full-throated attack on the Supreme Court itself or the individual justices. He has denounced the ‍Court’s individual decisions, but ‌has said he does not want to politicize the third branch of American democracy and risk undermining its authority forever.”

Shortly after Biden condemned the Court as abnormal, Shear explained, he‌ went on MSNBC ‌and “made it very ⁣clear what he ‌meant—and ​what ⁤he didn’t. He did​ not want‌ to overly politicize the Court. ​… He was just focused on ‌decisions by the justices that he disagrees with, like‍ their far-reaching rejection‌ of abortion rights.”

Shear concluded with a Biden quotation⁣ from the MSNBC interview, as though it proved the president’s reverence ​for the Supreme Court: “What I meant by that is [the Court’s] ​ done more to unravel basic ‍rights and basic decisions than any Court in ⁢recent history. And that’s what ⁤I meant⁣ by ‘not normal.’”

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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