Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris gave a “history lesson” during Wednesday night’s debate that turned out to be somewhat dubious.
After Vice President Mike Pence laid out the historical precedent for going ahead with Supreme Court nominations in election years, Harris claimed that President Abraham Lincoln had chosen not to go ahead with a nomination in 1864 because waiting until the people had spoken in the presidential election was “the right thing to do.”
Pence followed his recap of the history with a pointed question to Harris about whether or not she and former Vice President Joe Biden would support the plan — voiced by a number of Democrats — to pack the Supreme Court.
“You have refused to answer the question. Joe Biden has refused to answer the question. 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 you somehow win this election, going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?” he asked.
“I’m so glad we went through a little history lesson,” Harris replied, adding, “Let’s do that a little more. In 1864 — Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking. In 1864, one of the I think political heroes, I assume for you, also, Abraham Lincoln. He was up for reelection. It was 27 days before the election and a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court. Abraham Lincoln’s party was in charge not only of the White House, but the Senate. But Honest Abe said, ‘It’s not the right thing to do.’”
But while Harris was correct in stating that a Supreme Court seat was vacated 27 days prior to Lincoln’s reelection in 1864, others suggested that the reasoning she attributed to the 16th president for choosing not to nominate a replacement for Chief Justice Roger Taney was an assumption at best.
Kamala Harris’ use of Lincoln to justify not nominating a Supreme Court Justice was totally false. The Senate was not in session and the minute it came into session Lincoln nominated a Justice. She is either really ignorant or just lied.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 8, 2020
It appears that Kamala’s fabricated quote has made its way through the Democratic party and is now viewed as a valid talking point by the party. On Monday, Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar repeated Kamala’s made-up quote during SCOTUS Nominee Amy COney Barrett’s hearing.
‘We cannot divorce this nominee and her views from the election that we are in. We didn’t choose to do this now … they did.’ — Sen. Klobuchar, wearing an RBG pin, left no stone unturned in her statement against Republicans pushing through Amy Coney Barrett pic.twitter.com/uZVbbQ60uN
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 12, 2020