The Washington Post has cast doubt on Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris' "history lesson" that she mentioned during her debate with Republican rival, incumbent VP Mike Pence on 7 October.
Harris did not think twice before referring to Abraham Lincoln as she tried to uphold her view on why a Supreme Court nominee to succeed late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should not be confirmed until a new US president is sworn in.
President Donald Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nomination pick late last month, prompting criticism from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who warned Congress against confirming any candidate for the Supreme Court until after the 3 November election.
"I'm so glad we went through a little history lesson. […] In 1864 […] Abraham Lincoln was up for re-election. 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.
The Washington Post on Thursday reported that even though the Democratic Senator rightly said that the Supreme Court seat became available 27 days before the election, "there is no evidence" that the 16th US president thought "the seat should be filled by the winner of the election" because "in fact, he had other motives for the delay".
According to the newspaper, "the overarching effect of the delay is that it held Lincoln's broad but shaky coalition of conservative and radical Republicans together".
The Washington Post added that the US Congress was in recess until early December in 1864, "so there would have been no point in naming a man before the election anyway".
"Lincoln shrewdly used that to his advantage. If he had lost the election, there is no evidence he wouldn't have filled the spot in the lame-duck session", the news outlet argued, adding that "Harris is mistaken about Lincoln's motivations in this regard".
Wednesday's vice presidential debate came after a fresh poll revealed in late September that US residents remain at loggerheads on whether the Senate should support President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett.
According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll, 37 percent of respondents said the Senate should vote to confirm Barrett to fill Ginsburg's seat, while 34 percent felt the opposite.
At least 40 percent of respondents said that the Senate should only vote to confirm Barrett if Trump wins the November presidential election, while 39 percent said the vote should take place as soon as possible, regardless of the possible election results, the poll showed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that the Senate would vote on Trump's pick to replace Ginsburg regardless of criticism by the Democrats. The Republicans currently hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.