Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said Republicans were doing a “tremendous amount of damage to the institution of the Senate as well as to the legitimacy of the court,” by attempting to rush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: So you’re appealing to morality, but tactically speaking, is there anything Democrats can do? I mean, you do have this government funding deadline coming up. Can you use that leverage?
BOOKER: Yeah, again, I think that there will be a lot that will play out over the coming days. But it is clearly two things are of great importance. One is to appeal- a moral appeal to people who clearly stated what they would do under these circumstances. For them to go against their word is pretty significant in the public space in terms of their own honor and legitimacy. So we’ll see how that plays out. And in addition to that, election has already begun. If there’s any more convincing that the public needs about what’s at stake, we see some of the most fundamental ideals of our nation that have been settled in many ways, the right for a woman to control her body, the basic understanding of civil rights law, all of that now is in the balance. And I think that this should motivate people significantly to speak up, let their voices be heard, and be involved in this process.
BRENNAN: Back in 2016, when Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama, a Democratic president when Democrats were in the minority, you said the Senate has no excuse to ignore blockade or stonewall consideration of this nominee. Why a different standard now?
BOOKER: Well, first of all, 269 days before an election, I felt very clearly that President Obama should have had been able to name a nominee, and we should have taken it up in the Senate, even had people meet with that nominee. And it is unfortunate that that did not happen. I think that that greatly undermined really a- a sense of what was right. Now voting has already started. And we had literally my colleague speaking to what the rules should be, what the guiding principles they were operating on. And so for now for them to so severely violate their own words, I think does a tremendous amount of damage to the institution of the Senate as well as to the legitimacy of the court. And we’ve got to start stepping back and having our larger view of history. It’s not just the hotly contested issues of civil rights and women’s rights and LGBTQ rights, all that’s really in the balance here, but also the long term strength of our democracy and the institutions that are so critical to our success as a nation.
BOOKER: This is one of those moments where I wish we would step back and take a beat and understand what we’re doing and the consequences and how they could radiate throughout time.
BRENNAN: So- so what I hear you saying is what’s different is that voting is already underway. With that in mind, you are a Biden surrogate. Joe Biden has repeatedly said he intends to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. If you’re asking people to come out and vote on their considerations and concern about the Supreme Court, wouldn’t it help if he released his nominees? Is that something you think he should do?
BOOKER: Again, I think that this- what Donald Trump started as an appeal to a far right base, really a list from the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, that really broke with tradition. I think the president needs to evaluate it when he is the president and make his decision. And what Vice President Biden decides to do now to me is- is secondary to the urgency of this election and all of those who value their health care and understand that these are issues that will be played out by the Supreme Court and the Senate who- issues from climate change to voting rights, all of this is on the ballot. That should be the motivating factor, not necessarily what names that Vice President Biden may or may not decide to do. What’s important right now is the urgency of this election to a lot of the fundamental issues that affect our daily lives.
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