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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, promoted an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory on Monday night, claiming without evidence that the Republican Party was “coming after” viewers’ children by fulfilling their constitutional duty in holding hearings to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“A great part of the west is on fire. Our south — the gulf coast is battered by hurricanes,” Pelosi said. “We have a pandemic in the country. We’re fighting for our heroes, our state and local government and federal employees who our health care, our first responders, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, our sanitation, transportation workers.”
“We want them to test, trace, treat, wear masks, separate and the rest and we need public employees to do that. So we’re not about shutting down government. And it’s not a lever,” Pelosi continued. “By the way, the Republicans don’t believe in governance. It’s a welcome thing for them to shut down government. That’s why they have done it over and over. But in addition to that, you think if we shut down government they would say, ‘okay, now we won’t move forward with the justice?’ No, they won’t. They won’t. Because they are on a path to undo the Affordable Care Act. They’re on a path to undo a woman’s right to choose and there are many more issues that relate to the LGBTQ commu–.”
“Clean air, clean water, pollution. They’re coming after your children,” Pelosi said. “Protect your children from what they are trying to do in this court.”
Pelosi’s unsubstantiated claims come after Ginsburg died last week at 87 years old after losing the fight with her fifth bout with cancer.
Many Democrats have responded to the prospect of court becoming conservative by threatening to pack the court with multiple new justices if they win back the Senate and White House this fall. However, Ginsburg specifically warned against doing this, calling it a “bad idea” that would “make the court appear partisan.”
“There is no fixed number in the Constitution, so this court has had as few as five and as many as 10. Nine seems to be a good number and it’s been that way for a long time,” Ginsburg said. “I have heard that there are some people on the Democratic side who would like to increase the number of judges. I think that was a bad idea when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to pack the court, his plan was for every justice who stays on the court past the age of 70, the president would have the authority to nominate another justice. If that plan had been effective, the court’s number would have swelled immediately from nine to 15 and the president would have six appointments to make.”
“You mentioned before the court appearing partisan, well if anything would make the court appear partisan, it would be that—one side saying, ‘when we’re in power, we’re going to enlarge the number of judges, so we want to have more people who will vote the way we want them to,’” Ginsburg added. “So, I am not at all in favor of that solution to what I see as a temporary situation.”
This article has been updated to include additional information.