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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 20, 2020. (AP) Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 20, 2020. (AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 20, 2020. (AP)

Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson September 21, 2020

Biden wrong to say Supreme Court has no session before Election Day

If Your Time is short

• According to the Supreme Court website, the justices have scheduled five days of oral arguments in October and two more in November before the polls close.

Two days after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gave a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. In it, he argued that Ginsburg’s seat should not be filled in a rush, just weeks before a presidential election.

In the speech, Biden said the Constitution "was designed to give voters one chance, one chance to have their voice heard in who serves on the court. And by the way, there’s no court session between now and the end of this election."

The second sentence was seemingly an additional argument for slowing down the process. It seemed to be an ad-lib, since it didn’t appear in the prepared remarks sent out by his campaign. 

But it was incorrect.

On its website, the Supreme Court lists five days of oral arguments scheduled for October: the 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th. It also lists oral arguments for Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. Nov. 3 is Election Day.

Among the scheduled oral arguments are:

Tanzin vs. Tanvir, a religious freedom case.

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Google LLC vs. Oracle America Inc., a copyright protection case between Silicon Valley giants.

Torres vs. Madrid, a Fourth Amendment seizure case.

Pereida vs. Barr, a case about the definition of a crime for purposes of deportation.

Jones vs. Mississippi, a juvenile sentencing case.

The Biden campaign did not respond to an inquiry for this article.

Our ruling

Biden said, "There's no court session between now and the end of this election."

That’s disproven by the Supreme Court’s own website, which lists five days of oral arguments in October and two more in November before the polls close.

We rate the statement False.

Our Sources

Joe Biden, remarks at the National Constitution Center, Sept. 20, 2020

Supreme Court, calendar for October, accessed Sept. 21, 2020

Oyez.org, Tanzin vs. Tanvir, accessed Sept. 21, 2020

ScotusBlog, Google LLC vs. Oracle America Inc., accessed Sept. 21, 2020

ScotusBlog, Torres vs. Madrid, accessed Sept. 21, 2020

ScotusBlog, Pereida vs. Barr, accessed Sept. 21, 2020

ScotusBlog, Jones vs. Mississippi, accessed Sept. 21, 2020

NBC News, "'Constitutional abuse': Biden challenges Senate Republicans in blistering Supreme Court speech," Sept. 20, 2020

CNN, "Biden falsely claims Trump campaign only asked him for Supreme Court list after Ruth Bader Ginsburg died," Sept. 20, 2020

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Biden wrong to say Supreme Court has no session before Election Day

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