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Some Democrats Want To Get Even With Republicans On SCOTUS Vacancy

June 28, 2018 - 1:22 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Democrats were furious when President Barack Obama did not get a chance to fill in a Supreme Court vacancy at the end of his term.

Now, some in the party want to get even with the Republicans.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said a vote will be coming in the fall on confirmation for whomever President Donald Trump nominates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

But after Justice Antonin Scalia died in early 2016, Obama nominated Merrick Garland – only to see his nomination pushed off on the grounds that it was an election year. After Trump was elected, he nominated Neil Gorsuch to the post, and Gorsuch was confirmed after McConnell did away with the judicial filibuster.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) said it would be the "height of hypocrisy" for the Senate to vote on the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice before the November midterm elections.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) said Thursday that they plan to fight against the new nominee. Booker expressed concern about a Supreme Court that could change precedent on reproductive and labor rights.

“We who believe in the right for a woman to make her own medical decisions, we now must stand, and we now must fight. Those of us who believe in workers’ rights over corporate rights, we now must fight,” he said.

On Twitter, Booker suggested that President Trump wait on naming a replacement until after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election is complete. Booker said doing so before then would be a conflict of interest.

But Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it is preposterous to suggest waiting until after the midterms.

Political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said it is all really about raw power.

"One of the ways to show raw power is to put the guy who most agrees with you on the Supreme Court, or the woman for that matter," Sheinkopf said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants an apolitical choice.

"I would strongly urge them not to confirm any justice unless we know it is a fair and objective non-partisan, non-biased justice," he said

The Republicans are anxious to move forward.