The Democrats want to make the Supreme Court one of the main issues of the 2020 presidential campaign since the passing of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but they want to do it on their terms.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democrat candidates for president and vice president respectively, has refused to answer as to whether or not they would pack the Supreme Court since the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barret by President Donald Trump, and now Vice President Mike Pence has called her on it, The Hill reported.
Vice President Pence at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate blasted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for refusing to say whether she would support expanding the Supreme Court in order to allow a Democratic president to nominate more liberal justices to the bench.
Harris and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have avoided directly answering the question since it began gaining prominence last month following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and President Trump’s rapid nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat.
Harris on Wednesday responded to Pence’s repeated prompts about her position on court packing by shifting attention to Senate Republicans’ efforts to fast-track Barrett’s confirmation despite 2020 being an election year, a reversal of Republicans’ rationale for blocking former President Obama’s nominee late in his second term.
“Once again you gave a non-answer, Joe Biden gave a non-answer,” the vice president said. “The American people deserve a straight answer. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”
At the first presidential debate between Biden and President Trump the vice president refused to answer the question asked by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
“Whatever position I take in that, that’ll become the issue,” the former vice president said. “The issue is the American people should speak. You’re voting now. Vote, and let your senators know how you feel.”
When asked again this week on his position on packing the court he said, point blank, that you have to vote before he will tell you his position on it.
“You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over,” he said. It’s a great question, and I don’t blame you for asking. But you know, the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be on the answer to that question.”
But during the Democrat primary Biden said he was firmly against packing the Supreme Court.
“No, I’m not prepared to go on and try to pack the court, because we’ll live to rue that day,” he said to The Iowa Starting Line.
Biden is in a tough position because if he says he wants to pack the court he is in danger of losing moderate and independent support and if he says he is not in favor of packing the court he endangers the progressive vote. But the voters have a right to know.