While appearing on MSNBC’s “The Last Word”, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris managed to effectively dodge the question as to whether or not Joe Biden or herself would consider packing the Supreme Court come 2021.
She’s with Biden 1,000% on refusing to answer a crucial question facing the voters. https://t.co/kFW29z66P2
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) September 29, 2020
Albeit, the show host prefaced that question on the contingency of if the Democrats can gain control of the Senate, the House of Representatives and of course the White House. But what was delivered was an answer that basically answered nothing.
During the September 28th broadcast of “The Last Word”, show host Lawrence O’Donnell asked the following to Harris:
“If Judge Barrett is confirmed and the Democrats have control of the Senate next year and the White House and the House of Representatives, should the Supreme Court be expanded?”
What was returned by Harris was her basically saying she has no intention of answering the question since Biden hasn’t effectively answered the question:
“Joe’s been very clear that he is going to pay attention to the fact – and I’m with him on this 1,000% – pay attention to the fact that right now, Lawrence, people are voting. They’re voting.”
— SL (@SL44013661) September 29, 2020
From there, Harris then pivoted to somewhat allege that President Trump exercising his right as president to select a Supreme Court nominee during his fourth year in office is somehow questionable:
“This is not – some can debate about, election year, should a sitting president be allowed or able to nominate someone to the United States Supreme Court for a lifetime appointment. This is not even an election year. This is like – we’re actually in the election.”
Harris further claimed that since people are voting early that this then equates to the election actually happening in real time:
“People started voting. People have been voting. Almost a million Americans have voted. People will be voting next week. People will be voting up until Election Day, and they have a right, in an election, to elect their next president, who then will make the decision about who will be the nominee.”
While Harris managed to not actually answer the question on whether a Biden/Harris administration would consider packing the Supreme Court, her allegation that the election is actively happening due to early voting is a false assessment.
What? Did anyone get their secret decoder ring to understand this dem Texas two step?
No offense to Texas!.
WATCH: Kamala Harris Refuses To Answer A Direct Question About Packing The Supreme Court https://t.co/KpbbC4ueme via @Doug_Giles
— Sandy Mabry (@mabry4849) September 30, 2020
Whether Harris likes the idea of President Trump selecting a Supreme Court nominee or not, the actual election is on November 3rd, 2020. So by all definitions, until November 3rd of 2020, this is defined as an election year and the country is not “actually in the election”.
Also, as President Trump was smart to point out during the September 29th debate against Biden, a president is elected to a four-year term – not merely three years – when he was asked about his decision to nominate a Supreme Court Justice:
“I was not elected for three years, I’m elected for four years… We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate. We have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee, respected by all.”
This talk about packing the Supreme Court has been an ongoing thing by certain Democrats, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had suggested the notion earlier in September. Here’s the background on that story.
NEW YORK – With the recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s an ever-present war-of-words going on between Democrats and Republicans.
Essentially, Republicans are aiming to fulfill the duty to fill the void on the Supreme Court left by Ginsburg and Democrats are saying it should wait until after the November elections and be picked by whomever is elected in 2020.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 20, 2020
And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even suggested that if Republicans make a move to fill Ginsburg’s former seat, then Democrats should try to pack the Supreme Court.
As Republicans show support for moving forward with a Supreme Court nominee quickly, @AOC tells me if that happens, “we should leave all options on the table, including the number of Justices that are on the Supreme Court.” Adds expanding is “absolutely” an option worth weighing. pic.twitter.com/9KgoyrmUkL
— Adam Harding (@HardingReports) September 19, 2020
A lot of the rhetoric around Ginsburg’s former seat being filled is also coming from an alleged “dying wish” that Ginsburg claimed to her granddaughter before passing. Her granddaughter, Clara Spera, claims that Ginsburg stated the following before passing:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
While it may seem cold to mention this – but the vacancy left by Ginsburg in the Supreme Court has every right to be filled the moment the vacancy occurs.
And also, it’s quite the contrast from what Ginsburg stated in 2016 when she was asked if the Senate was obligated to fill a void in the courts – even on an election year.
In 2016, Ginsburg responded to the question with:
“That’s their job. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”
Yet AOC has harped on this alleged dying wish notion, using very charged language against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as being in “violation” of Ginsburg’s alleged last wish:
“The very last dying wish of RBG was that her vacancy not be filled until the new president takes office in January. That was her dying wish. Tonight, Mitch McConnell publicly, the night of her passing, he couldn’t wait 24 hours, issued a statement saying that he was going to give Trump a vote in violation of her dying wish.”
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Independent Women’s Forum President Carrie Lukas decided to take a jab at the dying wish controversy, pointing out the obvious – in that it really doesn’t matter what Ginsburg may have wished for prior to passing:
“I’ll add on RBG: If reports of her “last wish” are true, then she had a fundamental misunderstanding of her role. She didn’t own her seat — merely had the privilege of filling it for many, many years — and had no business telling the political branches how it should be filled.”
I'll add on RBG: If reports of her "last wish" are true, then she had a fundamental misunderstanding of her role. She didn't own her seat — merely had the privilege of filling it for many, many years — and had no business telling the political branches how it should be filled.
— Carrie Lukas (@carrielukas) September 19, 2020
But what’s all the more concerning was AOC’s recent mentioning of packing the Supreme Court on September 19th. When speaking with NBC New York’s Adam Harding, AOC stated:
“If Republicans do want to move forward…we should leave all options on the table, including the number of justices that are on the Supreme Court”
To clarify that statement, Harding asked the following:
“Would you be in favor of expanding the court?”
AOC clearly noted that expansion of the courts should be considered:
“I think that’s an option we should be weighing.”
For those completely oblivious, “packing” the courts is expanding the number of justices that actually reside on the Supreme Court.
Currently, there are nine seats – but technically more can be added. However, it’s not as simple as “1-2-3, more justices please!”
And historically, there’s never been more than nine justices appointed – and it was even attempted once and failed.
After Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected in 1936, he made an attempt to expand the Supreme Court size to 15 justices by way of appointing a new justice for every judge that was over 70 years old.
Despite being popular at the time and Democrats having control of Congress – FDR was shot down on said proposal by his own party. Even then Vice President John Garner was against the increase of the courts.
And you know who else said they’re against packing the Supreme Court? Even Joe Biden. Back in 2019, Biden was asked if he would consider ever packing the Supreme Court if he became president, his response was:
“No, I’m not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we’ll live to rue that day.”
Basically, he’s likely cognizant that attempts to meddle with the Constitution tends to not go well for those who make that an agenda item.
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