Despite their minority status in the U.S. Senate, Democratic Party leaders continue to pledge that they will use any means necessary — including new impeachment attempts — to prevent or respond to a confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s candidate to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
For his part, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) threatened that “nothing is off the table” if Republicans go through with their plan to confirm a nominee either before Election Day or during the lame-duck period that follows, as reported by Axios.
“An enormous amount of lawbreaking”
His remarks came during a conference call with other Democratic lawmakers on Saturday — one day after Ginsburg’s death.
A political battle was already brewing over the timeline for confirming her replacement on the nation’s highest court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Senate Republicans signaled their intention to support a Trump nominee, opening some up to claims of hypocrisy in light of their position against confirmation hearings for then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia following his death ahead of the 2016 election.
Among the possible responses by Democrats on Capitol Hill is the pursuit of impeachment trials against Trump and high-level administration officials, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggested as much when she spoke to reporters on Sunday, sharing her belief that “certainly there has been an enormous amount of lawbreaking in the Trump administration.”
She went on to single out Attorney General William Barr as a central culprit within the supposedly criminal administration.
“Every arrow in our quiver”
“I believe that Attorney General Barr is unfit for office and that he has pursued potentially lawbreaking behavior,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “That being said, these are procedures and decisions that are largely up to House Democratic leadership.”
She concluded that legislators “must consider, again, all of the tools available to our disposal and that all of these options should be entertained and on the table.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) similarly addressed the issue during an ABC News interview on Sunday.
“We’ve taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she told host George Stephanopoulos. “We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. When we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy, that requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”
Combined with threats of packing the court or even adding admitting new states to the nation, these vague references to impeachment should serve to motivate voters concerned that a Democratic Party takeover could spell a dismantling of congressional norms.