Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told The New York Times in an interview Saturday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should refrain from releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees in the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death because it could divide the Democratic Party ahead of the election.
“On his list are individuals like Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz – Tom Cotton famously supporting bringing in the military to potentially endanger the lives of people exercising their first amendment rights. This is incredibly scary, that that kind of perspective could replace a vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
She also said that “right now, it’s less about motivating people around a specific individual to be named to that court” and that Democrats could remain “highly motivated” by the thought of protecting the vacancy for a new president.
“I don’t think releasing a list of names really adds to that, and in fact, I think it could risk demoralizing and dividing our party,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
President Donald Trump has vowed to nominate a woman to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died from cancer on Friday, a promise that draws attention to the dozen women on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Biden, on the other hand, has called for the Supreme Court seat to remain vacant until after the election, banking on a victory that would put him in the position to fill a rare appointment at the start of his presidency, should he be elected.
Back in 2016, Biden said that, in the past, he has made it “absolutely clear” he would proceed with a Supreme Court nomination process, “even a few months before a presidential election, if the nominee were chosen with the advice and not merely the consent of the Senate. Just as the Constitution requires.”
The Democratic presidential nominee has not given any indication as to who he would nominate to fill the vacancy, but back at the Democratic presidential debate against Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) earlier this year, Biden promised to “appoint the first black woman to the courts.” Several months later, Biden said his team was “putting together a list of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be on the court” and would release it “further down the line,” according to The Washington Post.
During remarks Sunday afternoon, Biden explicitly declined to release a list of potential Supreme Court nominees and falsely claimed that the Trump campaign has only called on him to release a nominee list in the aftermath of Ginsburg’s death.
“It’s no wonder the Trump campaign asked that I release a list only after she passed away,” remarked Biden. “It’s a game for them. It’s a play to gin up emotions and anger.”
Earlier this month, before Ginsburg’s death, Trump said that Biden was refusing to release such a list, “perhaps because he knows the names are so extremely far left that they could never withstand public scrutiny or receive acceptance.”
“He must release a list of justices for people to properly make a decision as to how they will vote,” continued Trump, adding: “It is very important that he do so.”
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