Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told his colleagues that “nothing is off the table next year” if Republicans push through a nominee for the Supreme Court in the next several weeks.
A source told Axios about the comment made to congressional Democrats on a conference call on Saturday, and other outlets have confirmed it.
After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday night, the fight over whether or not her seat would be filled before the inauguration began immediately.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate will vote on President Trump’s nominee, if he is to put one up. In a tweet on Saturday, Trump indicated that he would nominate a replacement for the late justice soon.
Schumer, a New York Democrat, made a similar comment to reporters in July 2019, saying if Democrats retook control of the Senate in 2016, nothing would be “off the table.”
Some liberals have suggested that if Republicans replace Ginsburg before the inauguration and if they retake control of both chambers of Congress, Democrats should expand the size of the Supreme Court.
“If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame duck session—before a new Senate and President can take office—then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Saturday.
Sen. Ed Markey wrote on Twitter, “Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”
Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey)
September 19, 2020
It remains unclear if Schumer’s comment on Saturday was in reference to such a proposal.