Harris Refuses to Answer Pence on Packing Supreme Court

October 7, 2020

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris twice refused to answer during Wednesday's debate whether she and running mate Joe Biden would pack the Supreme Court once in office.

Vice President Mike Pence challenged Harris to answer whether she would add seats to the court if Democrats took power next year, which some Democrats have threatened to do as retaliation for Republicans confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

"Your party is actually openly advocating adding seats to the Supreme Court, which has had nine seats for 150 years, if you don't get your way," Pence said. "Now you've refused to answer the question. 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 to the Supreme Court of the United States, are you and Joe Biden going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?"

Harris said the open Supreme Court seat should not be filled while an election was underway but would not directly answer Pence's question.

Pence repeated his question and said it was clear to viewers that she and Biden would pack the Court. Harris accused the Trump administration of packing the lower courts with what she deemed substandard judges, but she again dodged responding to Pence's query.

"I just want the record to reflect she never answered the question. Maybe in the next debate Joe Biden will answer the question," Pence said.

Biden and Harris have repeatedly refused to directly answer questions about court-packing in recent weeks, even though Biden previously called it a "bonehead" idea and said last year that doing so would destroy the Supreme Court's credibility.