Election Countdown: Biden proposes commission to address court-packing issue, while Trump reportedly plans to attack at tonight’s debate

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in an interview excerpt released Thursday that if elected he would establish a bipartisan commission that would come up with recommendations for reforming the court system, promising it would study a number of alternatives “that go well beyond packing” the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is preparing to level a barrage of allegations against the former vice president and his son during Thursday night’s preelection debate, according to a Politico report. The New York Post has been publishing stories about emails purportedly from Hunter Biden. Trump and his re-election campaign have talked up the emails and made a fresh push to allege that the Bidens are corrupt.

The second and final debate is slated to kick off at 9 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, with Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., serving as the host. After last month’s chaotic debate, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates on Monday announced that microphones will be cut off at the upcoming debate to allow for opening two-minute answers.

Now read:Thursday’s presidential debate looks like the last-chance saloon for Trump, analysts say.

Also see:Climate change and COVID-19 to feature in final debate between Trump and Biden — when and where to watch.

Plus:Trump asked a reporter for some advice on how to win tonight’s debate — and here’s what he got

Data point
Polling avg. in top swing states Biden +4.2 as of Thursday vs. Biden +4.8 a week ago
National polling avg. Biden +7.7 as of Thursday vs. Biden +9.4 a week ago
Betting markets Biden 64.7%, Trump 36.1% as of Thursday vs. Biden 65.1%, Trump 35.3% a week ago
S&P 500 +0.1% Thursday, +3.7% in 1 month
CBOE Volatility Index +0.1% Thursday, +6.7% in 1 month

Sources: RealClearPolitics, FactSet

Biden’s comments about a commission that would look at the court system were made to the CBS News program ‘60 Minutes,’ which plans to air more of the interview on Sunday. Legal scholars from both parties would be on the commission and review issues over 180 days.

The Democratic challenger said last week that he would come out with a clear stance on potentially expanding the Supreme Court before Election Day, as some Democrats call for it in response to the Republican push before the November elections to give the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat to Judge Amy Coney Barrett and create a conservative 6-to-3 majority. Progressive advocacy group Demand Justice on Thursday described Biden’s latest move as “a punt.”

Read more:Senate Republicans advance Barrett Supreme Court nomination amid Democratic boycott

With 12 days to go until the Nov. 3 election, U.S. stocks SPX, -0.12% DJIA, -0.09% COMP, -0.46%  were struggling for direction on Thursday, while the CBOE Volatility Index VIX, -1.08%  was also little changed.

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