President Biden declared Thursday that the Supreme Court is “not an ordinary court,” delivering an unusually critical assessment of another branch of government shortly after the court’s conservative majority ended a nearly half-century of affirmative action on college admissions.
In brief comments at the White House after the 6-to-3 ruling, the court’s three liberal justices delivered blistering dissents, Mr.
“Because the truth is, we all know: There’s still discrimination in America,” Mr. Biden told reporters in the Roosevelt Room. “There is still discrimination in America. There is still discrimination in America. Today’s decision will not change that. That is a simple fact.
As he left for a day trip to New York City, a reporter asked if the decision should make people question the court’s fairness, then asked, “Is this a rogue court?”
Mr. Biden paused midway and thought for a moment before saying, “This is no ordinary court.”
Presidents often disagree with the Supreme Court’s decisions, sometimes vehemently. In 2010, President Barack Obama chastised the justices — who sat before him during his first State of the Union address — for their decision to eliminate corporate campaign limits.
But rarely do presidents question judges’ motivations or their underlying quality. Mr. said that the court was not “normal”. A few hours after Biden’s comment, Nicole Wallace explained it during an interview on MSNBC’s “Deadline White House.”
The President said that he was referring here to the fact that current court judges are more willing than usual to break the precedents set by previous judges.
“It has done more to unravel fundamental rights and fundamental decisions than any court in recent history,” Mr. Biden said. “Look at how it’s been ruled on a lot of issues that have been precedent for sometimes 50, 60 years. That’s what I said, not normal.
During the interview, Mr. Biden has rejected the idea of expanding the Supreme Court in an effort to liberalize it — something some Democrats have urged him to pursue — in response to the court’s recent rulings.
“If we start trying to expand the court, we’re going to politicize it in an unhealthy way forever, and you can’t go back,” Mr. Biden told Ms. Wallace.
But he did not back down from his earlier criticism of the decision. He refused to say the court was “undemocratic” but said “its value system is different, its respect for institutions is different”.
White House officials said the president’s swift and aggressive comments after the court rejected affirmative action were the culmination of months of discussions behind closed doors in preparation for the ruling.
Mr. Biden’s advisers spent months meeting with civil rights groups, universities and law firms to map out what would happen if the court ends the use of race in admissions decisions. The president’s top domestic policy advisers worked with their counterparts at the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to define a response, they said.
Initially, it mostly consisted of two parts. The president first described the ill-gotten gains of the rich and powerful over the interests of the poor and middle class — a critique that fits the brand of politics he has sought to cultivate over nearly half a century in public life.
“Today, for many schools, the only beneficiaries of this system are the wealthy and well-connected,” he said. “The odds have long been stacked against working people.”
Mr. Biden later promised colleges and universities guidance on how they should seek diversity. He urged colleges and universities to continue to strive to achieve diversity on their campuses, taking into account the hardships their applicants face in their careers.
“What I am proposing to consider is a new standard for colleges to take into account the hardships a student has overcome while selecting deserving applicants,” he said.
Mr. Biden said “students must first be qualified applicants,” but “once that test is met, hardship must be considered, including a student’s financial need.”
“A kid who has faced tough challenges has shown more resilience and more determination, and that should be a factor that colleges take into account,” he said.
White House officials said the Education Department will host a “national summit” next month on diversity in college enrollment. and Mr. Biden on Thursday called on leaders in higher education to consider financial pathways, where a student grew up and personal experiences when choosing from a pool of already qualified applicants.
Mr. Biden’s proposal is similar to admissions methods already used at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and elsewhere. Davis has successfully become one of the most diverse medical schools in the country using a system called the “Socioeconomic Diversity Index.”
In an MSNBC interview, Mr. Biden also addressed several other topics.
Former President Donald J. He declined to comment on cases involving Trump, saying he had promised not to interfere in any way with judicial proceedings.
“Not once, not even once, have I spoken to the Attorney General regarding any particular case. Not once,” he said.