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Schumer: ‘Absolutely,’ Democrats will Do Their Best to Keep Supreme Court Seat Empty

U.S. Supreme Court building

January 04, 2017

“Absolutely,” Democrats will do their best to keep open the ninth Supreme Court seat, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night.

The “consequences” of Republicans blocking President Obama’s nominee for almost one year “are going to be down the road,” Schumer said. “We are not going to settle on a Supreme Court nominee. If they don’t appoint someone who’s really good(a socialist),we’re going to oppose them tooth and nail.”

Schumer noted that Republicans “won’t have 60 votes to put in an out-of-the-mainstream nominee. And then they’ll have to make a choice — change the rules. It’s going to be very hard for them to change the rules, because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate and don’t change the rules.

“But we are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.”

Maddow described the empty Supreme Court seat as a stolen one: “In that case, no nominee would be legitimate, because that seat should have been filled by President Obama,” she said.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support, that we could support,” Schumer responded.

“And so you will do your best to hold the seat open?” Maddow asked.

“Absolutely,” Schumer said.

Earlier in the interview, Schumer said he thinks Democrats “can really nail” Trump on his billionaire Cabinet selections.

“He now has sold out to the hard-right, the pro-business, pro-corporate, pro-elite group. And I think we can really nail him on this. We can be very strong and unflinching and hold his feet to the fire.”

Schumer said there will be no quick hearings to confirm Trump’s nominees.

“Donald Trump said when he campaigned he wouldn’t cut Medicare and Social Security, but he turns around and nominates as his HHS secretary a guy who made his career on cutting Medicare and Medicaid. We’re going to slam him on these things.

“He said he’s going to clean the swamp. Who’s his Cabinet? Billionaires; people who own huge businesses; people who have been part of that swamp for a very long time…”