Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined forces in Brooklyn on Sunday to issue a “fervent plea” that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court remain vacant until after the November presidential election.
Speaking from the late justice’s alma matter, James Madison High School in Midwood, Ocasio-Cortez said Dems need to use “every tool at our disposal” to block a Senate confirmation hearing for any potential replacement nominated by President Trump.
“We need to make sure we mobilize on an unprecedented scale to ensure this vacancy is reserved for the next president,” she said.
“We must also commit to using every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary.”
They pleaded with Americans to call Republican senators and pressure them into holding off on a vote.
“So many people’s rights are at stake in this election,” said Schumer. “If you care about all these rights, if you don’t want big, powerful, wealthy special interests to turn the clock back 100 years, please, our fervent plea, our fervent wish, is that you call your senator.”
AOC added: “This is one of the most important times that we have had for everyday people to stand up … We all need to be more courageous and act in unprecedented ways to make sure that our rights are stabilized.”
Two GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, have said they object to the nomination being made before Nov. 3, meaning just two more Republicans would need to side with Democrats to halt the process.
Schumer, also a James Madison alum, cited a Reuters poll released Sunday which found that 62% of Americans, including many Republicans, believe November’s winner should get to nominate a justice to fill the vacancy.
“We’re not close to an election, we’re in an election,” Schumer said, “and to try to and decide this at this late moment is despicable and wrong and against democracy.”
“It’s shoving the wishes of the hard-right and Republicans who go along with them down Americans’ throats.”
The Senate Minority Leader noted that Ginsburg’s final wish, prior to her death on Friday at 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer, was not be replaced until after the next president is inaugurated in January.
“It is only right and only fair for us to abide by RBG’s last wish,” he said.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of The Bronx and Queens, issued a special message to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said he would bring the nomination to the Senate for a vote.
“We need to tell him that he is playing with fire,” she said. “We need to make sure that this vacancy is protected, that our election continues and that the American people have their say.”
Asked if she would support renewing talks of impeachment hearings against Trump or Attorney General Bill Barr as a time-buying measure, the congresswoman said she believes there has been “an enormous amount of law-breaking in the Trump administration.”
“I believe that Attorney General Barr is unfit for office and that he has pursued potentially law-breaking behavior,” AOC said.
“That being said, these are procedures and decisions that are largely up to House Democratic leadership. But I believe that also we must consider, again, all of the tools available to our disposal, and that all of these options should be entertained and on the table.”
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