Oct 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pence attacks Harris for refusing to say whether Democrats would expand Supreme Court

Vice President Pence called out Sen. Kamala Harris at Wednesday's vice presidential debate for refusing to answer whether Democrats would add more justices to the Supreme Court if they win the White House and Senate.

Why it matters: A number of Democrats have proposed court packing as a response to Republicans rushing to confirm a conservative Supreme Court justice with less than a month until the election. Biden has previously said he opposes court packing, but has repeatedly ducked questions about it recent weeks — including at last week's presidential debate.

What they're saying: "When you speak about the Supreme Court, I think the American people deserve an answer, Senator Harris. Are you and Joe Biden, if somehow you win this election, going to pack the court to get your way?" Pence asked.

  • Harris did not directly answer the question, but suggested the Trump administration unfairly nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett and broke precedent.
  • She said the election should decide who gets to appoint a justice to the court, and accused the administration of engaging in its own form of court packing by confirming hundreds of ideologically conservative judges to the federal bunch.

"I just want the record to reflect, she never answered the question," Pence shot back.

  • "The American people deserve a straight answer ... If you cherish our Supreme Court, if you cherish the separation of powers, you need to reject the Biden-Harris ticket."
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