While the so-called fact-checkers in the mainstream media are quick to refute comments from President Donald Trump, there have been comparatively few such efforts to hold Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to the same standard — until this week.
The former vice president made two statements regarding the U.S. Supreme Court that reporters for multiple outlets felt the need to correct for the record, according to Breitbart.
“One chance to have their voice heard”
His claims came on Sunday in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week and the subsequent battle over when and how to confirm her replacement.
Biden made the argument that the GOP-controlled Senate should not move to confirm any Trump pick prior to Election Day, but rather wait and allow the winner of the presidential race to select a nominee.
“The United States Constitution was designed to give voters one chance, one chance to have their voice heard [about] who serves on the Court,” he said. “And by the way, there’s no Court session between now and the end of this election.”
Asserting that the confirmation process should fall on the “next president” and presumably the next Senate, Biden went on to allege that the president had only begun demanding he, too, release a list of possible Supreme Court nominees in the days after Ginsburg’s death.
Subsequent reports — and the court’s own schedule — have since clarified that justices, like always, will be holding an October session this year. In fact, the session officially kicks off later this month with five argument days and three conference days set of October. Six argument days, one non-argument day, and three conference days are also scheduled for November.
“Not true either”
Furthermore, even CNN “fact-checker” Daniel Dale pointed out that Trump had been asking for Biden to release a list of potential nominees long before Ginsburg’s death.
“Biden also falsely said: ‘By the way, there’s no Court session between now and the end of this election,'” he tweeted. “The court’s next session begins on October 5, nearly a month before election day.”
The same claims were similarly debunked by NPR political editor Arnie Seipel, who wrote: “FACT CHECK: Biden said there’s no Supreme Court term until after election. That’s false. First arguments of the new term, as ever, begin the first Monday in October. Biden also said Trump campaign only started asking for his SCOTUS list after Ginsburg’s death. Not true either.”
Adding a layer of icing on the fact-checking cake was ABC News political reporter Johnny Verhovek’s tweet noting that the “line in Biden’s speech where he falsely claimed there is no Supreme Court session between now and Election Day is not in the prepared remarks released by his campaign, appears to have been ad-libbed.”
Anti-Trump fact-checking has become a cottage industry within today’s mainstream media. Despite this week’s anomalies, it might be too much to hope that the president’s Democratic rival will continue to face public scrutiny for his misstatements and gaffes.