Tags: 2020 Elections | KamalaHarris | SupremeCourt | debate | election

Kamala Harris Blasted for Lincoln-Supreme Court 'History Lesson'

Kamala Harris seated
(Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 08 October 2020 05:15 PM

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris was criticized for her debate “history lesson” involving President Abraham Lincoln’s alleged decision to wait until after the election to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, the Washington Examiner reports.

When a debate topic got sidetracked into a conversation about packing the Supreme Court and when to fill the seat of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harris began discussing a similar situation that occurred in 1864 when Lincoln was president.

“In 1864 … Abraham Lincoln was up for reelection,” Harris said. “And 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. The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States, and then that person will be able to select who will serve on the highest court of the land.’”

But some say the upcoming election isn’t the reason why Lincoln delayed making the appointment after Chief Justice Roger B. Taney died.

The Washington Post reports that “there is no evidence” that Lincoln thought the seat should be filled by the winner of the election.

Historians told the newspaper that Lincoln was actually too preoccupied with his campaign and the Civil War to nominate his pick. Though Lincoln told his aides he wanted input from Americans as well. 

On top of that, Congress was in recess until early December. The Washington Post reports that if Lincoln had lost the election “there is no evidence he wouldn’t have filled the spot in the lame-duck session.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called out Harris’ claim as “totally false” on Twitter.

"Kamala Harris’ use of Lincoln to justify not nominating a Supreme Court Justice was totally false," he wrote. "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."

Lincoln was reelected. He nominated Salmon P. Chase to fill the seat on the high court when lawmakers reconvened in December. The Senate confirmed Chase that same day.

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Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris was criticized for her debate "history lesson" involving President Abraham Lincoln...
KamalaHarris, SupremeCourt, debate, election
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2020-15-08
Thursday, 08 October 2020 05:15 PM
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