Politics

Kamala Called Out For Her Misleading Information About Lincoln’s Election-Year SCOTUS Vacancy

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Democrat Vice Presidential Kamala Harris is receiving criticism for comments made during the vice presidential debate.  

Many are saying said she used 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 many from both sides of the political aisle.

1. Gillian Brockell of the Washington Post, 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.

2. Louis Jacobson at Politifact

• Lincoln was faced with a Supreme Court vacancy 27 days before Election Day in 1864, when his party controlled the Senate. He decided to wait until after winning the election to pursue the nomination.

• However, historians who have studied the relationship between Lincoln and his nominee, Salmon P. Chase, said that Lincoln’s decision may have stemmed from political or logistical reasons rather than high-minded reasons.

3. Harris also faced pushback on Twitter for the statement.

Kamala either took the notes from her staff or decided to lie using Lincoln’s story on her own.