Democrats are doubling down on threats of partisan retaliation after Republicans confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court Monday.
After weeks spent disparaging Barrett’s nomination as illegitimate, Democrats are warning that there will be “consequences,” Fox News reported.
“Nothing is off the table”
According to Democrats, Republicans crossed a line by rushing to confirm a justice before Election Day, especially after Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not consider Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016.
Democrats have been sending this message since the process started, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warning early on that “nothing is off the table.” With Barrett now a sitting justice, Democrats allege that her “sham” confirmation has “corrupted” the Supreme Court, necessitating drastic measures as a “correction,” such as court packing and ending the filibuster.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) warned of “consequences” and said that Republicans had “gravely imperiled” the court’s “legitimacy.”
“The fact is that our Republican colleagues are shattering the norms and breaking the rules and breaking their word, and there will be consequences,” Blumenthal said. “There inevitably are consequences when one person breaks his or her word to another.”
“Nothing less than everything is at stake. A shift in the balance of the court that will last for decades if we do not correct it – and believe me, there are appropriate measures that should be considered,” Blumenthal said.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) teased that Democrats could now — for the first time, apparently — pursue “extraordinary lengths to maximize their power.”
“Will Democrats go to new, extraordinary lengths to maximize their power given the extraordinary lengths Republicans have gone to maximize their power? This is not a conversation that is ripe enough yet, but what do Republicans expect?” he said.
Republicans have pointed out that these threats are not new. Indeed, Democrats have been threatening to pack the court long before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September, with one Republican likening the Democratic tactic to “shooting the hostage.”
While Democrats are telegraphing their intentions quite openly, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has still not cleared up — a week before Election Day — whether he would pack the Supreme Court. He has previously said that voters do not “deserve” to know his intentions.
Barrett was confirmed Monday night in a 52-48 vote. Only one Senator broke party lines, Republican Susan Collins (ME).