Democrats and progressive activists vowed to eliminate the filibuster and possibly even expand the US Supreme Court if Republicans fill the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday from complications of cancer.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear he would move to confirm a replacement for the liberal icon despite blocking former US President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, in a presidential election year in 2016.
“US President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said in a statement Friday night. The Kentucky Republican did not say whether that vote would take place before or after the Nov. 3 election.
Democrats said McConnell should wait and respect Ginsburg’s dying wish that the next president fill her seat. Some, however, threatened to eliminate the filibuster and possibly even pack the high court if the Democratic Party takes control of the White House and Senate next year.
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
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said the Senate would “never, ever be the same” if Republicans fill Ginsburg’s seat this year, alluding to major changes. “It will be changed forever. I pray tonight that at least a few of my Republican colleagues understand this.”
“It is going to be very hard after the procedural violence that Mitch McConnell has inflicted on the Senate and the country for anyone to justify us playing it soft next year just to satisfy pundits,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) added on Twitter. “We must use the power that voters give us to deliver the change we are promising.”
Progressive activist Ady Barkan, an advocate for single-payer health care who is influential among Democrats, also...