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President Donald Trump’s campaign repeatedly challenged Joe Biden to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, including when it put out Trump’s own list in early September.
Biden said releasing such a list would distort the Senate’s role in the nomination process and subject his potential nominees to outside influence and attacks.
As Republicans look to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, President Donald Trump’s campaign has elevated its calls for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to release a list of candidates he would consider for the bench.
Trump and his campaign have challenged Biden to match the list of 20 potential nominees Trump rolled out Sept. 9, which included several federal appeals court judges and Republican senators such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Biden has dismissed those requests. Speaking in Philadelphia two days after Ginsburg’s death, the former vice president rejected the call again, while urging the Republican-led Senate to let the winner of the presidential election pick Ginsburg’s replacement.
In doing so, Biden wrongly claimed the Trump campaign asked for his list only after Ginsburg died. (He also claimed, falsely, that "there's no court session between now and the end of this election.")
"After Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, they said ‘Biden should release his list,’" Biden said in the Sept. 20 address. "It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release the list only after she passed away. It’s a game for them. It’s a play to gin up emotions and anger."
The Biden campaign noted that the claim came as Biden diverged slightly from his prepared remarks, which the campaign provided to PolitiFact. His prepared line was: "It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release a list only hours after Justice Ginsburg passed away."
Both Trump and his campaign called several times for Biden to put out a list of prospective nominees before Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18. When the campaign unveiled the 20 additions to Trump’s list in a Sept. 9 press release, it wrote, "Biden must do the same."
On Sept. 17, the Trump campaign released a statement saying "it’s time for Joe Biden to release a list of his own potential Supreme Court nominees."
On Sept. 12, Trump said at a campaign rally in Minden, Nev., "I put out a list of an additional number of very conservative, highly thought of, highly respected judges ... They are the only people that I will consider for the Supreme Court of the United States. And I'm asking Joe Biden to do the same thing."
On Sept. 9, Trump said at the White House, "Joe Biden has refused to release his list, perhaps because he knows the names are so extremely far left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance."
On Aug. 24, Trump said in an Aug. 24 Republican National Convention speech, "I'm demanding, actually, a list. Let Biden put up a list of the judges he's going to appoint."
The Trump campaign has ramped up its calls for a Biden list since Ginsburg’s death. But in Philadelphia, Biden gave three reasons why he didn’t want to publish the names of his potential nominees — and why he thought Trump’s decision to do so was unconventional.
Biden argued that putting judges’ names on such a list could influence their decisions in courts where they currently serve, subject them to "unrelenting political attacks" without an immediate hearing at which to defend themselves, and upend the traditional process of consulting with the Senate on nominees.
Biden said, "The Trump campaign asked that I release the list (of potential Supreme Court nominees) only after (Ginsburg) passed away."
Trump and his campaign challenged Biden to release such a list on multiple occasions in advance of Ginsburg’s death.
We rate this statement False.
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NBC News on YouTube, "Watch: Biden Delivers Remarks In Philadelphia | NBC News," Sept. 20, 2020
Donald J. Trump for President, "Correct the record: Fact-checking Biden’s Philadelphia speech," Sept. 20, 2020
Team Trump on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Tim Murtaugh on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Andrew Clark on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Abigail Marone on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Arnie Seipel, NPR on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Will Steakin on Twitter, Sept. 20, 2020
Donald J. Trump for President, "Who would Joe Biden put on the Supreme Court? He won’t say," Sept. 17, 2020
Factbase Videos on YouTube, "Speech: Donald Trump Holds a Campaign Rally in Minden, Nevada," Sept. 12, 2020
The White House, "Remarks by President Trump on Judicial Appointments," Sept. 9, 2020
Donald J. Trump for President, "President Trump releases list of prospective Supreme Court nominees," Sept. 9, 2020
Factbase Videos on YouTube, "Speech: Donald Trump Addresses the Republican National Convention in Charlotte," Aug. 24, 2020
Trump War Room on Twitter, July 1, 2020
Politico, "Biden says he’ll release list of Black women as potential SCOTUS nominees," June 30, 2020
Factbase Videos on YouTube, "Interview: David Brody of CBN News Interviews Donald Trump at The White House," June 22, 2020
NBC News on YouTube, "Trump Holds Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma | NBC News," June 20, 2020
The New York Times, "Donald Trump Releases List of Possible Supreme Court Picks," May 18, 2016
Statement from the Biden campaign, Sept. 21, 2020
Statement from the Trump campaign, Sept. 21, 2020
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