Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) torched her Democratic challenger, former Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, on the idea of “court packing” during Wednesday night’s Senate debate. When asked to give her stance on expanding the size of the Supreme Court, Gideon told voters that she would evaluate proposals surrounding court packing as they come, were she to be elected in November.
?? So this is a yes --> Democrat Sara Gideon in Maine dodges about her support for the far-left's plan to pack the U.S. Supreme Court.— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) October 29, 2020
Absolutely stunning and dangerous. #MEpolitics #MEsen pic.twitter.com/hLrW7Xd9Gs
Sen. Collins was able to give a straightforward stance on court packing and cited the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s view of expanding the size of the highest court in the land:
“The answer is, I do not support increasing the size of the Supreme Court,” Sen. Collins said during Wednesday night’s debate. “As Ruth Bader Ginsburg says, ‘nine is a good number,’ and that’s the number it’s been since 1869. We should not pack the court.”
Gideon wrongfully accused Sen. Collins of “packing the court” by refusing to differentiate between the definition of court packing, expanding the size of the highest court in the land, and the Senate’s constitutional duty of filling vacancies on both the federal bench and Supreme Court.
Senator Collins—you have packed the court. You helped Trump and McConnell stack the courts with far-right, unqualified judges. Now, our health care, reproductive rights, and civil rights have never been more at risk than they are right now. #mepolitics— Sara Gideon (@SaraGideon) October 29, 2020
Gideon's avoidance of straightforward questions on court packing, a consequential electoral issue, mirrors many of her fellow Democrats as the fringe idea gains traction within the party. She holds a slight advantage in polling averages over Sen. Collins, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that "nothing is off the table" if Democrats take back the majority in the Senate, so voters deserve a clear answer from Gideon.