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Biden Says The Next President May Have A *Huge* Impact On SCOTUS

The U.S. Supreme Court has been a major topic of conversation in recent weeks, especially after some buzzy ruling affecting abortion access as well as gun safety. Now, there are concerns regarding how the upcoming presidential election will impact the future of SCOTUS — and, in turn, the future of the country.

On June 15, President Biden said the next president will likely have the opportunity to fill two vacancies on the Supreme Court. Biden made this remark at a fundraiser at which late-night host Jimmy Kimmel moderated a discussion with Biden and former president Barack Obama. The two presidents talked about how former president and current presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump negatively affected American issues like abortion rights by naming conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his presidency.

“The next president is likely to have two new Supreme Court nominees — two more,” Biden said. “[Trump] has already appointed two that have been very negative in terms of rights of individuals.” 

Trump appointed three justices during his term: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanagh, and Amy Coney Barrett. These three justices cemented the conservative majority in the Supreme Court. Biden additionally stated that Trump’s ability to appoint two more conservative judges if reelected would be “one of the scariest parts” of a second Trump term.

“The idea that if [Trump] is reelected, he can appoint two more, flying flags upside down…” Biden said, in reference to a recent report about Justice Samuel Alito, whose wife reported flew an upside-down U.S. flag outside of their home.

This is the second time in the past two months that Biden has referred to potential future vacancies on the Supreme Court. At a campaign rally in May, he promised to name “progressive judges” to fill said vacancies. “The next president — they’re going to be able to appoint a couple of justices,” Biden said. “Look: if, in fact, we’re able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in really progressive judges like we’ve always had, tell me that won’t change your life when Trump justices are already gutting voting rights, overturning Roe, decimating affirmative action, and so much more.” Biden has not revealed where these two upcoming vacancies would come from.

Biden filled one Supreme Court vacancy during his term as president. He nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Cate Scott

Syracuse '26

Cate Scott is a third-year Syracuse University student pursuing a dual degree in journalism and creative writing. Actively contributing to multiple campus publications and constantly learning about the journalism field in her courses, she is dedicated to expanding her writing skills across various disciplines and formats. She is currently based in Greater Boston and is interested in exploring magazine writing, politics, investigative work, and culture. Cate has been reading and writing poetry and personal essays for years. She hopes to pursue creative writing as well as her journalistic passions in her future career. Beyond her academic pursuits, Cate is a runner and seasoned music nerd. She is on her school's club sailing team and is a proud and active sorority member. The highlights of her weeks include hosting her college radio show, exploring Syracuse, finding time to play her guitar, and doing it all with her roommates and best friends. A native New Englander, Cate spends her summers taking the train into Boston and hiking with her German Shepherd, Maggie.