Democrats Warn Republicans Not to Rush SCOTUS Vote

Or else.

Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., conducts a Senate Judiciary Committee markup on judicial nominations in Russell Building on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

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Democrats signaled that they would present a united front and strongly oppose any Republican effort to ram through a quick confirmation of a Supreme Court nomination by President Donald Trump. On a conference call with Democratic senators on Saturday morning, minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (New York), warned that if Republicans did try to approve a Trump nominee before the election, there would be consequences. 

The threat is likely a reference to the idea that a Democratic president and Democratically-controlled Senate might try to expand the Supreme Court—an idea that has been percolating through progressive circles for awhile now and slowly picking up support from the party’s center.

It’s hardly a given that all Democrats would back the move. Democratic senators are, however, presenting a united front in opposition to holding hearings on a Trump nominee. All ten Democratic members of the Senate’s Judiciary committee—the one that would hold hearings on any potential Supreme Court justice nominee made by President Donald Trump—signed a letter urging Republican Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham to stick to his own promise, made in 2016 when roles were reversed. 

Democrats have been circulating a video of Graham being interviewed in 2016 when he staunchly insisted he would treat a Republican nominee for the Supreme Court during an election year the same way he opposed confirming President Barack Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland in early 2016.

Despite this, Graham tweeted on Saturday that he would support confirmation of a Trump nominee before the election because he felt the situation had changed since he made that promise—notably that Democrats had grilled Brett Kavanaugh over allegations he had assaulted a woman when he was in high school.

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