During a debate Saturday with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) became the first Senate Democrat candidate to back packing the Supreme Court with additional justices.
Bullock, who hopes to oust Daines in the November elections, said that should Senate Republicans confirm Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, he would back Democrat measures to pack the nation’s highest court with additional justices.
“We need to figure out the ways to actually get the politics out of the court. That’s anything from a judicial standards commission, or we’ll look at any other thing that might be suggested, including adding justices,” he said.
Other Senate Democrat candidates such as Cal Cunningham in North Carolina and Theresa Greenfield in Iowa have ignored questions about whether they would back packing the Supreme Court.
Daines said in response, “If you want to politicize the courts, for heaven’s sake, you pack ’em.”
Daines said this marks how radical Bullock is on the issue of the Supreme Court, noting former Vice President Joe Biden has dodged questions about whether he would pack the Supreme Court if he was elected. Democrat vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has also dodged questions about packing the court.
“Even Joe Biden said he wouldn’t answer that question right now.”
“That should be a chilling, profound moment, that has not happened for generations, it’s never been packed. As Montanans, that’s a threat to our Second Amendment,” he said.
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) October 11, 2020
In contrast, Bullock said confirming Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court would jeopardize the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.
Daines said he supports a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the ACA. President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have promised to protect patients with preexisting conditions should the Supreme Court strike down former President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation.
Bullock accused Daines of not being a leader when Republicans fought measures to increase mail-in voting in the state.
“Montanans want a leader, not a lap dog,” Bullock said.
Daines, in contrast, said that Bullock would follow lock-in-step with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Daines said that Bullock’s election could lead to “liberal tyranny.”
The debate follows as Daines and Bullock have fought in a heated battle for the Montana Senate seat.
An Emerson College poll released last week found Daines leads Bullock by nine points or 52 to 43 percent. Five percent of voters remain undecided. Daines has expanded his lead since the last Emerson poll was released in August.
Spencer Kimball, the director of Emerson College polling, said, “Montana looks about the same as it did at this time in the 2016 race, we will be looking to see if there is a late break in the state which last time went for Trump giving him a 20 point win.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3