House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) urged Democrats on Saturday to “immediately” mobilize to “expand” the Supreme Court if Republicans succeed in confirming a replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“If Sen. McConnell and [the] Senate GOP 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,” the New York lawmaker wrote on social media.
Nadler added in a follow-up message that “filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame-duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials.”
“Congress would have to act, and expanding the court would be the right place to start,” the judiciary chairman wrote.
The comments come as Democrats are mobilizing to keep President Donald Trump from filling the vacancy and cementing a 6-to-3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court. Democrats are vying to keep the seat open until January in hopes that former Vice President Joe Biden will win the upcoming election and be able to propose his own nominee for the post.
At the moment, Democrats are relying on precedent that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) set in 2016 when refusing to hold confirmation hearings on then-President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the late Antonin Scalia.
“The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters on Friday. “This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost ten months to go before the election. That’s the position the United States Senate needs to take today.”