Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), during a 2019 interview with the New York Times, said she was “absolutely” open to expanding the size of the Supreme Court.
When asked, “Are you open to expanding the size of the Supreme Court?” in a 2019 interview with the New York Times, Harris, stated that she remained “absolutely” open to it.
“Senator Harris told me in an interview, actually, that she was absolutely open to doing that,” New York Times reporter Alexander Burns said during Thursday’s episode of the Times’ podcast.
“But we’ve not heard her reiterate that recently so I think for them there is this balancing act of they don’t want to alienate moderate voters,” he added. “They also don’t want to send a demoralizing signal to their own party”:
Notably, several former Democrat presidential candidates who participated in the wide-ranging Times interview — including Marianne Williamson, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) — did not appear to be as open to the idea as Harris.
Harris refused to say if a Biden-Harris administration would pack the courts, even after Vice President Mike Pence asked her directly during Wednesday evening’s vice presidential debate.
“When you speak about the Supreme Court, though, I think the American people really deserve an answer, Senator Harris. Are you and Joe Biden going to pack the court if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed?” Pence asked, emphasizing the Biden campaign’s lack of an answer.
“This is a classic case of if you can’t win by the rules, you’re going to change the rules. Now you’ve refused to answer the question. Joe Biden has refused to answer the question — no, you’ve refused to answer the question,” he continued.
“Joe Biden has refused to answer the question. So I think the American people would really like to know if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed at the Supreme Court of the United States. Are you and Joe Biden, if somehow you win this election, going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?” he asked:
Instead of answering the question, Harris quoted Abraham Lincoln and claimed that she and Biden are “very clear.”
“The American people are voting right now and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime,” she said.
Pence accused Harris of delivering a “non-answer,” prompting Harris to contend that she is willing to have that discussion. However, she did not use her opportunity to actually answer the question. She said in part:
So the Trump Pence administration has been, because I sit on the Senate judiciary committee, [moderator] Susan [Page] as you mentioned, and I’ve witnessed the appointments for lifetime appointments to the federal courts, district courts, courts of appeal, people who are purely ideological, people who have been reviewed by legal professional organizations and found who have been not competent are substandard. And do you know that of the 50 people who President [Donald] Trump appointed to the court of appeals for lifetime appointments, not one is black? This is what they’ve been doing. You want to talk about packing a court? Let’s have that discussion.
“I just want the record to reflect she never answered the question,” Pence remarked. “Maybe in the next debate Joe Biden will answer the question, but I think the American people know the answer.”