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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."

Go deeper

Kudlow says he's "very disappointed" in Trump's treatment of Pence

Larry Kudlow. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow criticized President Trump’s response to last week's U.S. Capitol siege and his treatment of Vice President Mike Pence in the aftermath of the 2020 election, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

The big picture: Trump has lost support from a number of top aides and allies since a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, resulting in five deaths. Kudlow is the latest to publicly speak out against the president.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.