Senate Democrats quickly promised to oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee shortly after she was announced, with some saying they wouldn’t even meet with her.
Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the vacant seat on Saturday.
Over a dozen Democrats in the Senate said they will vote against Barrett, increasing the likelihood that none cross the aisle for her confirmation.
“I will not vote to confirm Judge Coney Barrett or any Supreme Court nominee before Election Day on November 3rd,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the only Democrat to vote for Trump’s last Supreme Court pick, said in a statement.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was among those who promised not to meet with the nominee.
“I will refuse to treat this process as legitimate & will not meet with Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” he said in a statement on Twitter.
“I will not be meeting with her. I will take the opportunity to question her under oath,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) added during an appearance on CNN.
Democrats are upset that there’s little they can do to stall the nomination process and want Republicans in the Senate to hold off on voting for a nominee until after the presidential election, pointing to what happened in 2016.
When then-President Barack Obama, a Democrat, nominated Merrick Garland to a Supreme Court vacancy, the GOP-held Senate refused to consider Garland, saying it should be up to voters to decide who they wanted to nominate the next justice.
Voters chose Trump, who picked Neil Gorsuch.
Republicans note that the party-split that existed then doesn’t now, with both the presidency and the Senate in their hands.
Precedent exists for election year Supreme Court nominations and several have gone through in the time that left’s before Nov. 3.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has committed to holding a vote on Trump’s nominee, but it’s not clear yet if it will happen before or after the election.
Democrats alleged that if Barrett is confirmed, the chances of Roe v. Wade being overturned, and the Affordable Care Act being dismantled, would heighten.
“We need to be clear-eyed about what’s at stake. President Trump pledged that his nominee will strike down the Affordable Care Act, and just one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that seeks to do just that,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Conn.) said.
“Americans need Supreme Court Justices who will protect the rights of all Americans, and deliver equal justice for all,” added Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.). “Judge Barrett’s record of opposing the Affordable Care Act and reproductive rights for women is why I oppose her nomination to the Supreme Court.”
Others promoted the reported remarks Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made on her deathbed. Ginsburg, who died at age 87 last week, allegedly said she preferred for the next president to nominate her replacement.
“I’m going to do all I can to fulfill Justice Ginsburg’s last wish, and I call on people in Washington state and across the country: raise your voice against this nomination so powerfully that President Trump and his party will have no choice but to listen,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) added, “Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish was that she not be replaced until a new president is installed. Republicans are poised to not only ignore her wishes, but to replace her with someone who could tear down everything that she built. This reprehensible power grab is a cynical attack on the legitimacy of the Court.”
Asked about the alleged dying wish this week, Trump said he wasn’t sure it was legitimate, but even if it was, it wouldn’t matter.
“Well, I don’t know that she said that or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and [Nancy] Pelosi,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
“I would be more inclined to the second, OK? You know that came out of the wind, it sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or Shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind, let’s see. I mean maybe she did or maybe she didn’t.”
“Look, the bottom line is we won the election,” he added. We have an obligation to do what’s right and act as quickly as possible.