Democrat Kamala Harris took heat during the vice presidential debate for what some said was misleading information about President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to wait until after the election to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.
“I’m so glad we went through a little history lesson. Let’s do that a little more,” Harris said. “In 1864 … Abraham Lincoln was up for reelection. 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.’”
The argument was called into question by Gillian Brockell of the Washington Post, who noted that Lincoln had other motivations for holding the seat open.
“Harris is correct that a seat became available 27 days before the election,” Brockell wrote. “And that Lincoln didn’t nominate anyone until after he won. But there is no evidence he thought the seat should be filled by the winner of the election. In fact, he had other motives for the delay.”
“If he had lost the election, there is no evidence he wouldn’t have filled the spot in the lame-duck session,” Brockell continued.
Harris also faced pushback on Twitter for the statement.
“Kamala Harris’ use of Lincoln to justify not nominating a Supreme Court Justice was totally false,” former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said. “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.”
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
That Lincoln-Supreme Court story Kamala Harris just told?
Yeah, it's completely wrong
Lincoln didn't nominate someone because the Senate was out of session and he was concerned about his re-election, not because he thought the vacancy should wait pic.twitter.com/Ux9tNgbrY3
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) October 8, 2020
So @KamalaHarris lied about her and Biden's views on fracking and about whose taxes they'll raise. She dodged the key question on court-packing. And even the @washingtonpost notes that Harris lied about key aspects of the story of Lincoln not nominating a replacement for Taney.
— Ross Kaminsky (@Rossputin) October 8, 2020
This Kamala Harris "history lesson" is bullshit.
Lincoln did not make a nomination because the Senate was not in session and he was leveraging his pick to win the election.
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) October 8, 2020
The U.S. Senate’s historical record shows Congress was not in session at the time of Chief Justice Roger Taney’s death.
Lincoln later nominated Salmon P. Chase to the seat the day Congress reconvened in December, and he was confirmed by the Senate that same day. Chase was one of Lincoln’s chief political rivals, having unsuccessfully battled Lincoln for the Republican nomination in 1860.
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Kamala Harris takes heat for misleading statement about Abraham Lincoln’s election year SCOTUS vacancy