Historians reject Kamala Harris quote about Abraham Lincoln in debate

She could have been more honest while quoting Abe.

Sen. Kamala Harris skewed the truth in her debate-night claim that Abraham Lincoln delayed an election year Supreme Court nomination because he cared about “doing the right thing,” according to historians.

While making the case that President Trump should put off filling the seat until after the 2020 presidential election, Harris offered a fabricated “history lesson” about Honest Abe, according to the Federalist.

“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,’” Harris said. “And so Joe and I 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.”

But in truth, Lincoln wasn’t able to fill the seat before the November election because the Senate was not in session until December. Lincoln then pushed through a confirmation of Justice Salmon Chase the first chance he had — one day after the session began, historians told the outlet.

Lincoln’s motivation for waiting until after the election was more politically cunning than ethically commendable, the experts said.

“As ever, Lincoln was the shrewd politician and in October of 1864 he saw no profit in alienating any of the factions of his political support by making a selection before the election,” wrote President Lincoln’s Cottage, a historical group dedicated to preserving Lincoln’s legacy.

Lincoln also delayed the nomination to make sure he had Chase and other potential picks’ political support during the election — and to hold together a coalition of conservatives during the Civil War, according to The Washington Post.

During the debate Wednesday, Harris was responding to Vice President Mike Pence’s assertion that every single president in history who has been given the opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court justice during an election year has done so.

“There have been 29 vacancies on the Supreme Court during presidential election years from George Washington to Barack Obama, and the presidents have nominated in all 29 cases,” Pence said. “But 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.”

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