VP Harris Could Legally Vote Herself the New Supreme Court Justice: Expert

VP Harris Could Legally Vote Herself the New Supreme Court Justice: Expert VP Harris Could Legally Vote Herself the New Supreme Court Justice: Expert

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on Jan. 24, 2022, after visiting the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership Building Industry Group and Skilled Trades Employment Program in Milwaukee. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Wednesday, 26 January 2022 08:01 PM

Imagine this scenario:

After a long and bitter Senate confirmation process to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, Vice President Kamala Harris ends up casting the tie-breaking 51st vote for President Joe Biden’s nominee: herself.

One expert told Fox News on Wednesday that this is possible, and more importantly, legal under the Constitution.

''The Constitution doesn't place any conditions on the types of ties the vice president can break as presiding officer,'' Sarah Binder, a professor of political science at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Fox News Digital. ''That would presumably leave the VP free to break a tie on confirming herself to the Supreme Court.''

While such a discussion seems more fitting for a college course on constitutional law, circumstances may be coming together that could make it a reality with the news Wednesday that liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring.

According to Politico, Breyer, at 83 the oldest member of the court, told President Joe Biden last week that he plans to retire at the end of this term, giving Biden an opportunity to appoint his successor.

During his 2020 campaign for president, Biden committed to nominating a Black woman to the court if afforded the opportunity.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that the president ''certainly stands by'' that promise. She did not comment further.

Appointments to the high court are for life, unless a justice voluntarily decides to step down.

Among the names Biden will likely consider replacing Breyer, some are speculating that he might choose Harris to both keep his promise about putting a woman of color on the bench, while easing the political baggage Harris would bring to his possible reelection bid.

In a lengthy press conference last week, Biden said Harris would be his running mate in 2024, despite polls showing her approval rating at just 43.6%, according to the FiveThirtyEight.com website.

James Wallner, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, told Fox News that she could vote for herself if all 50 Republican senators opposed her nomination.

''Under the Constitution, yes, the vice president casts the tie-breaking vote,'' Wallner told Fox News Digital. ''Now whether or not that's in good taste is something else and it could very well lead to further politicization of the Supreme Court. But as a matter of procedure, it seems to be pretty straightforward. If there's a tied vote, the Vice President is authorized by the Constitution to cast that tiebreaker.''

The rabbit hole such a scenario could generate might go even deeper, with Harris then possibly having to break a tie vote to confirm a new vice president to fill her own vacancy under the 25th Amendment.

Original Article