“Furious” Democrats are considering “total war” next session if Republican press through and fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant Supreme Court seat, Axios reports — and their plans may even include adding states to the union to ensure their permanent control of Congress.
Some Democrats, like Senate Judiciary Committee member Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), have made clear that they believe no response is off the table if President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell follow through with plans to fill the seat with fewer than 50 days until the November presidential election. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even noted Sunday that her caucus is considering pursuing impeachment, either a second round against Trump or a first attempt to oust Attorney General William Barr.
“Well, we have our options,” Pelosi said. “We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now.”
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), among others, threatened to pack the Supreme Court with additional seats, a strategy Ginsburg herself opposed. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) reportedly agreed, noting on Twitter that, “If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session — before a new Senate and President can take office — then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court.”
Democrats have tried before to expand the court to no avail and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, whose signature as president would be required to move forward with an act expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court says he opposes “court-packing,” according to The Wall Street Journal. He would have to be convinced the move was correct.
But court-packing isn’t their only plan.
According to Axios, Democrats are also considering two major changes to Congress itself that could work to keep them in control — and in the majority in both Houses — for years to come. “Adding Supreme Court justices … eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to end filibusters … and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico,” are all on the table, Axios says.
“Democrats are talking anew about pushing statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. Capturing the anything-goes spirit among Democrats amid the Supreme Court fight, one party strategist texted me: ‘Guam want in?'” the outlet noted.
Ending the filibuster was already on the table before Ginsburg passed from complications of pancreatic cancer late Friday. As of early last week, Democrats were already compiling a “war room” tasked with laying the groundwork to wage an all-out war on the Senate filibuster in bullish anticipation of sweeping the 2020 election and passing an ambitious progressive agenda,” per NBC News.
“Veteran party operatives, activist groups and supportive senators are coordinating message and strategy to dial up the pressure to quickly end the 60-vote threshold early next year, fearing that preservation of the rule will enable Republicans to kill Joe Biden’s legislative agenda in its cradle,” the outlet added.
The White House says that it plans to announce Ginsburg’s potential replacement as early as Wednesday. McConnell has already said he plans to shepherd the nominee through the process and have a new Supreme Court Justice confirmed by election day.
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