Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats that “nothing is off the table” if they gain control of the chamber next year after Republicans go through with an election-year confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The person didn’t say if Schumer spelled out what that meant during a Democratic conference call Saturday. But numerous Democratic lawmakers have said the party should completely get rid of the Senate filibuster and some have advocated expanding the number of justices on the high court to shift the ideological balance.
“Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year,” the person quoted Schumer as telling fellow Democrats.
The death Friday of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg created an opening on the court that President Donald Trump has promised to fill quickly. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber would vote on Trump’s nominee, even though he prevented Democratic President Barack Obama from filling a vacancy before the 2016 presidential election.
Schumer told Democrats that they need to emphasize the stakes of the Supreme Court fight to voters before the Nov. 3 election, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss the private conversation. He said those include health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions, women’s right, labor rights and climate change, the person said.
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