2020 Democrats face no questions on Supreme Court during second debate

2020 Democrats face no questions on Supreme Court during second debate
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Democratic presidential candidates fielded no questions on how they would approach the Supreme Court during the second round of debates.

CNN moderators did not raise the issue during either of the debates, held on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the candidates barely brought it up themselves.

President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE has repeatedly touted Justices Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Top GOP super PAC endorses Murkowski amid primary threat Trump-era grievances could get second life at Supreme Court MORE and Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill MORE — his two nominees, who helped solidify a conservative majority on the court — as among his biggest achievements since taking office.


South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Funky Academic:' Public has been 'groomed to measure progress by firsts' Biden administration in talks with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for India ambassador post: reports Business groups target moderate Democrats on Biden tax plans MORE (D) was the only candidate who referenced how he might approach the Supreme Court, saying Tuesday that he has suggested taking action to “depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform.” Buttigieg has signaled that he would support expanding the number of justices on the court.

The candidates were questioned about the Supreme Court during the first round of Democratic debates last month hosted by NBC, but not extensively. Much of that conversation centered around how Democrats would work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Romney: Removing Cheney from House leadership will cost GOP election votes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden reverses Trump limits on transgender protections MORE (R-Ky.) to get Supreme Court nominees through the Senate.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push Symone Sanders 'hurt' at being passed over for press secretary: report MORE (I-Vt.) said during the June debate that he would support a system “to rotate judges to other courts.”

“And that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority, I hope, that will understand that a woman has the right to control her own body and the corporations cannot run the United States of America,” he said at the time.

The candidates have not faced questions on the debate stage about what kind of judges they would nominate or how they would move to counteract Trump’s efforts to reshape the federal judiciary. The GOP-controlled Senate has confirmed more than 100 federal judges nominated by Trump, including several this week.

The courts have been a topic of debate in recent presidential election cycles, and judicial groups have been critical of the lack of questions this time around.

Several progressive groups, like Take Back the Court and the American Constitution Society, wrote a letter to CNN ahead of this week's debates urging the moderators to ask questions about the Supreme Court. The letter cited a “politicized Supreme Court” and an “extreme right takeover of our third branch of government.”

“We cannot afford another debate where this critical issue is ignored,” the groups wrote.

The conservative Article III Project sent a similar letter to CNN, but attacked some Democrats’ comments on the judiciary as “unconstitutional or otherwise radical assaults on judicial independence.”

“All of the Democrat presidential candidates should explain to the American people where they stand,” the organization wrote.