DES MOINES, Iowa – During an online candidate forum hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership on Wednesday, Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic nominee in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, was asked about ending the Senate filibuster and stacking the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that “nothing is off the table” if Republicans confirm a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election and Democrats win back control of the Senate. Democrats have discussed ideas like ending the Senate filibuster and stacking the Supreme Court, things that would be considered should Election Day go their way.
If Republicans confirm a replacement for Ginsburg, Republican-appointed justices would have a 6 to 3 majority.
Watch Greenfield’s remarks:
“You know, again, as I travel, the state, people want the divisiveness to end. They want Washington to work more like their hometowns were more like you do in the Greater Des Moines Partnership where you have to reach out you have to solve problems together, and they’re tired of it,” Greenfield said.
She has not traveled the state because traveling requires physically going somewhere. Greenfield, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Iowa back in March, has only held and participated in online public events. She has not appeared for any debate or candidate forum that included U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.
When it comes to the filibuster, I will tell you; my goal is to be the next United States Senator and to work with anyone to get jobs done, including across the aisle. And I’d like to think we could make that happen. If we can’t, I would look at reforms to the filibuster, maybe requiring that if you’re going to ask for a filibuster, you know, you show up on the Senate floor and personally make that request. But my first goal is to make sure that we get back to the institutions of the Senate, and that we work together,” Greenfield said, addressing the question about the filibuster.
Her view on stacking the U.S. Supreme Court with progressive judges has shifted.
In May, during the Iowa Press U.S. Senate Democratic Primary, Greenfield told David Yepsen, “You know, we need a fair and impartial Supreme Court and certainly as a United States Senator, it’s a solemn duty to advise and consent, but I don’t believe we need to expand the Supreme Court.”
On Wednesday, while she did not endorse the idea, Greenfield did not dismiss it either.
“You know, I’ll tell you what I want. I don’t know that that’s what we need to be doing by any means. I wouldn’t say that I have formed an opinion on that. But that’s certainly not a high priority for me. And it’s not something that Iowans are certainly talking about at this point in time. They’re talking about health care, and they know that health care is at stake at the Supreme Court. The ACA lawsuits there right now they know their civil rights are decisions that are made at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affects education, so many things, but I don’t know that that’s the highest priority. Certainly not hearing it from Iowans,” she said.
Concerned about potential blowback from obfuscating her opinion, Greenfield spokesperson Sam Newton sent out a statement.
“Instead of adding more justices to the Supreme Court, Theresa believes the best way to make our democracy more representative for all Iowans is to end political corruption by banning corporate PACs, banning dark money and banning members of congress from becoming lobbyists. Those are all crucial reforms that Senator Ernst refuses to support,” he said.
Ernst’s campaign responded to Greenfield’s shift.
“In the Senate, you are forced to make yes-or-no decisions, so it’s remarkable that Theresa Greenfield is refusing to give voters a straight answer regarding liberals’ plan to pack the Supreme Court with radical judges. Greenfield’s caving is proof that if elected she’ll stand with liberal special interests bankrolling her campaign, not Iowans,” Ernst spokesperson Brendan Conley said in a released statement.