In an appearance on Fox News this week, Senate GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso said that neither President Donald Trump nor his own colleagues in the Senate should hesitate for a second before nominating and confirming a Supreme Court judge to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat. Barrasso said that Republicans should not be deterred by Democratic Party threats to “pack the court” if the seat is filled; he noted that they will almost certainly do so regardless of whether or not Republicans move to name a replacement.
Barrasso joined the program after Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) appeared during the previous segment to argue that a Supreme Court vacancy hasn’t occurred this close to a presidential election since 1864. He said that it was unthinkable that Republicans should fill the seat without first hearing from voters in November.
“The one question Senator Cardin wouldn’t answer was what’s Chuck Schumer going to do,” said Barrasso. “Let me be clear, if the Democrats win the White House and the Senate and have the House they will change the rules and they will blow up the Senate.
“They have an entire war room working on this and they will expand the number of members of Supreme Court regardless of what the Republicans and President Trump do,” the Wyoming Republican continued.
On a conference call with the Democratic caucus that morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said that “nothing is off the table for next year” if Trump and Mitch McConnell move to fill Ginsburg’s seat before the election.
“We’re here to protect the rights of women — their rights to their body, to choose, their rights to health care and equality would go down the drain if that wish were not realized,” Schumer said. “A court with a kind of nominee President Trump will choose will undo all of that and not make global warming less likely but more likely and it will come quicker… We do not want to turn the clock back. And we only need two more senators who will abide by RGB’s wish. Two said it. We need two more.”
Barrasso noted during his appearance that Schumer’s mention of “two more senators” is somewhat suggestive, given the plans Democrats have in store for Washington D.C. statehood. That move, which the party will undoubtedly try to make if they gain full control of the federal government in November, would indeed give Schumer “two more senators.” Make that four, if the party tries to pull the same trick with Puerto Rico.
With that kind of legislative majority, Democrats would be virtually unstoppable.
All the more reason to realize how important this election actually is.