News and Commentary

Schumer: I’ll Block Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

On Sunday, speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that he would block any nominee for the Supreme Court that Donald Trump that is not accepted by Democrats as well as Republicans.

Schumer, speaking with Jake Tapper, acknowledged that he had stated he would be willing to keep the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia open when he spoke to Rachel maddow of MSNBC. He had told Maddow, “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support. So, you’re right.”

Maddow queried, “And so you would do your best to hold the seat open?” Schumer answered bluntly, “Absolutely.”

Tapper pressed, “You would do your best to hold the seat open?”

Schumer replied:

Let me just say this. What I said on that show was, if the nominee is out of the mainstream, we will do our best to keep the seat open. Let’s remember that, of the last four Supreme Court nominees, two nominated by a Republican president, two by a Democrat, they had bipartisan support. What I said — you didn’t show it on the air there — is, if the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely would keep the seat open.

I’m hopeful that maybe President Trump would nominate someone who is mainstream and who could get bipartisan support. We shall see. But, if they don’t, yes, we will fight it tooth-and-nail, as long as we have to.

Tapper pointed out, “As you know, for the last four months, President Trump has had a list of 21 potential Supreme Court picks. He worked with the Federalist Society on the list. He says they are all conservative judges. Are you saying that not one of the judges on that list of 21 is in the mainstream?

Schumer dodged, “I haven’t studied the records of those 21. I’m not going to comment on a potential nominee. I’m going to wait to see who the president nominates. My only plea to him, hope, nominate a mainstream person, not someone way out of the mainstream.”

When GOP leaders stated in 2016 they would not automatically confirm Barack Obama’s pick to fill Scalia’s seat, Schumer blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying, “Here, he doesn’t even know who the president’s going to propose and he said, no, we’re not having hearings; we’re not going to go forward to lead the Supreme Court vacant at 300 days in a divided time. This kind of obstructionism isn’t going to last. And you know, we Democrats didn’t do this. When in the — we nominated — we voted 97-0 for Justice Kennedy in the last year of Reagan’s term.

As Mediaite pointed out, “That last line of Schumer’s is somewhat misleading, by the way. The only reason Kennedy was nominated in the last year of Reagan’s term was because Senate Democrats blocked and voted down his first two choices the year earlier.”

“We will fight it tooth-and-nail, as long as we have to.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer

And, of course, the hypocrisy displayed by Schumer in 2016 was stunning, considering that in 2007 he asserted that the Democratic majority should block any of President George W. Bush’s remaining Supreme Court nominations, saying, “We should reverse the presumption of confirmation… we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not.”