Schumer: Dems Will Stop an ‘Out-of-the-Mainstream’ Supreme Court Nominee

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was confident if President-elect Donald Trump picks “an out-of-the-mainstream nominee” for the Supreme Court, Democrats will be able to block the nomination.

Partial transcript as follows:

MADDOW:  Let me ask you a hard-line edge on that, which is the Supreme Court. The Republicans took this unprecedented step, they didn’t let president Obama make a Supreme Court appointment for almost a year now.

SCHUMER: A very moderate, mainstream nominee.

MADDOW:  A nominee who a lot of progressives would have been very disappointed in. But that was an incredibly radical thing the Republicans did. Senator Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon says they stole a Supreme Court seat.

SCHUMER: That’s a fair statement.

MADDOW: Didn’t they just get away with it?

SCHUMER: They did.

MADDOW: There are no consequences for it?

SCHUMER: Well, the consequences will be down the road. We are not going to settle on a Supreme Court nominee. If they don’t appoint someone who is good, we’ll oppose them tooth and nail. They won’t have 60 votes to put in an out-of-the-mainstream nominee. Then they have to make a choice, change the rules. It will be hard for them to change the rules because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate and won’t, but we are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.

MADDOW: There is an argument to be made, though, if it is a fair statement that that was basically a stolen seat, so it isn’t theirs to fill, in that case, no nominee would be legitimate because that seat should have been filled by President Obama.

SCHUMER: 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: So you will do your best to hold the seat open.

SCHUMER: Absolutely.

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