Vice President Mike Pence pinned down Sen. Kamala Harris during the vice presidential debate about whether Democrats pack the Supreme Court if Biden wins the election – and Harris refused to deny the accusation.
Pence made the attack in a follow up to the first presidential debate in Cleveland, where Biden refused to directly answer questions about whether he would expand the size of the court and pack the new seats with liberals if Democrats flip the Senate.
‘Are you and Joe Biden going to pack the court if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed?‘ Pence asked her late in the debate, mentioning Trump’s pick to fill the empty seat following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Dailymail report: He raised the challenge when asked a question about how he would respond if the court strikes down the Affordable Care Act. Instead, he talked about abortion and raised the court packing issue.
He said her party was advocating the move ‘if you don’t get your way.‘
‘I think the American people would really like to know if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States, are you and Joe Biden if somehow you win this election going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?‘
Pence repeated the question and demanded an answer, after himself avoiding direct responses to the moderator’s questions while filibustering his way through several earlier questions in the debate.
Harris didn’t respond directly, but she did push back. ‘I’m so glad we went through a little history,‘ she began.
She referenced an election eve vacancy under Abraham Lincoln, and said ‘The American people are voting right now and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime.’
But rather than go through the grievance-filled recent history of Supreme Court battles – and the Republican Senate’s failure to confirm Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick in 2016, she brought up another court fact, firing an unexpected volley at Pence.
Pence raised the question again, and accused her of giving a ‘non-answer‘ and said they ‘are going to pack the Supreme Court.’
‘Let’s talk about packing the court,’ she told him.
‘Of the 50 people who president Trump appointed to the Court of Appeals, not one is black. You want to talk about packing a court? Let’s have that discussion,‘ said the Senate Judiciary Committee member.
‘You want to talk about packing a court – let’s have that discussion,‘ she said.
She said many of Trump’s nominees are ‘purely ideological.’
According to a June Bloomberg News story, Trump had appointed one Hispanic and no blacks among 53 judges confirmed to the Court of Appeals after his nomination. The powerful lifetime appointees rule on key cases, some of which go on to the Supreme Court.
If Barrett is confirmed, conservatives will hold a 6-3 majority on the court, a tilt that infuriates liberals, after watching the GOP Senate stall the vacancy under Obama. It would be Trump’s third justice installed on the court in a country that is nearly evenly divided and where Joe Biden leads in the polls.
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