Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have united to blast Mitch McConnell's 'blatant, nasty hypocrisy' over the Supreme Court pick and to urge voters to pressure GOP senators into delaying Donald Trump's nominee until after the election.
AOC and Schumer joined forces for a press conference Sunday night outside James Madison High School in Brooklyn, that both Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Schumer attended.
The two Democrats warned that the rights of Americans are at risk if Trump plows ahead with his plans to appoint a new justice before the election and urged people to call their Senators and demand they respect Ginsburg's dying wish.
They said 'all options are now on the table' to stall Trump's Supreme Court nomination, including pursuing the impeachment of the president and AG Bill Barr.
Ginsburg said her 'most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed' in the days leading up to her death Friday.
The president on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider 'without delay' his upcoming nomination to fill her seat.
The move comes just six weeks before the election and has sparked fierce debate, with many Democrats - as well as some Republicans - insisting the seat must not be filled until after the election.
The crux of the debate centers around the move made by Republicans back in 2016 - and led by McConnell - to block then-President Barack Obama from appointing a new justice to the court nine months before the election.
Their argument at the time was that the position should not be filled until a new president was elected by the American people - a standard set by the Republicans that the Democrats now argue the party must continue to honor.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have united to say 'all options are now on the table' to stall Trump's Supreme Court nomination - including impeaching the president and AG Bill Barr - as they blast Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for his 'blatant, nasty hypocrisy'
Democrats have put several options forward to stall or counteract Trump rushing through the appointment for Ginsburg's replacement, with several including Rep. Joe Kennedy III threatening to pack the Supreme Court while others such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have not ruled out pursuing impeachment charges.
AOC echoed the possibility of pursuing impeachment charges Sunday saying there has been 'an enormous amount of lawbreaking' under Trump's watch and branding Barr 'unfit for office'.
'I believe that certainly there has been an enormous amount of lawbreaking in the Trump administration,' she said, when asked about impeachment.
'I believe Attorney General Bill Barr is unfit for office and that he has pursued potentially law-breaking behaviors.'
She said America must 'use every tool at our disposal' and turn to 'unprecedented ways' to stall the appointment and that means putting all options 'on the table'.
'I believe that also we must consider again all the tools available to our disposal and all these options should be entertained and on the table,' she said.
An impeachment would force the US Senate to hold a trial, delaying its ability to appoint Ginsburg's successor.
AOC warned of the risks to the American public if Trump picks a replacement prior to the election.
'It's extraordinarily important that we understand the stakes of this vacancy,' she said.
'Our reproductive rights are on the line. Our labor rights are on the line. Our rights to healthcare are on the line. Labor and union protections are on the line. Our climate is on the line.
'With an early appointment all our rights, the rights that so many people died for... are at risk.'
The Representative for New York's 14th congressional district spoke of the need to 'buy ourselves some time' by using 'every procedural tool available'.
'We all need to be more courageous and we all must act in unprecedented ways to make sure our rights are stabilized' and that 'the American people have their say'.
AOC (pictured) echoed the possibility of pursuing impeachment charges Sunday saying there has been 'an enormous amount of lawbreaking' under Trump's watch and branding Barr 'unfit for office'
Schumer said he was also willing to consider radical options including the possibility of packing the court
She called on the public to contact US senators and demand they hold off an appointment.
'We need to make sure that we mobilize on an unprecedented scale to ensure that this vacancy is reserved for the next president and we must use every tool at our disposal,' Ocasio-Cortez said.
'Everyday people need to call on senators to hold this vacancy open.'
AOC had stern words for McConnell over his aboutface on the process, saying 'we need to tel him that he is playing with fire'.
Schumer blasted McConnell's 'blatant, nasty hypocrisy' after he said Friday that Trump's nominee would be voted for by the Senate despite insisting in 2016 that a Supreme Court vacancy should not be filled until after the election.
'If you want to get back at Mitch McConnell's blatant, nasty, hypocrisy call your senator and tell them not to listen to Mitch McConnell and not to be afraid of Mitch McConnell and to do the right thing - to stand up and do just what is fair and right and to adhere to RBG's final wish,' Schumer said at the press conference.
He pointed out the time difference between the Merrick Garland case in 2016 which came nine months before the election and today with just six weeks before election night.
'I quote Mitch McConnell what he said four years ago when Merrick Garland was nominated that when it is close to the election the next president should decide,' he said.
Schumer blasted McConnell's (pictured) 'blatant, nasty hypocrisy' after he said Friday that Trump's nominee would be voted for by the Senate despite insisting in 2016 that a Supreme Court vacancy should not be filled until after the election
'People are already voting - it's just a few days away. We are not close to an election. We are in an election and to try and decide this at this late moment is despicable and wrong and against democracy.
'It's shoving the wishes of the hard right and the wishes of the Republicans that go along with them down Americans' throats.'
Schumer pointed to a Reuters poll that found 62 percent of Americans do not believe the seat should be filled until after the election, saying this was further proof the Trump administration would be going against the wishes of the public by pushing through the appointment.
'That's such a high number it has to mean Democrats, Republicans and independents have to agree that it is only right and only fair to abide by RBG's last wish that she be replaced when a new president is installed,' he said.
He reinforced AOC's calls on the public to pressure senators to keep to the standard set by Republicans in 2016, saying 'we only need two more senators to say they will abide by RBG's wish.'
Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have both publicly said the chamber should not vote before the election.
Schumer said he was also willing to consider radical options including the possibility of packing the court.
'It will be a decision that comes to the Senate. We first have to win the majority before that can happen... but everything is on the table,' Schumer said when asked by reporters.
Their comments come as several Democrats have vowed the party will expand the size of the court if they capture the Senate in November and Republicans have already pushed through a conservative successor to Ginsburg.
Joe Kennedy III, who represents Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District and is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, tweeted Sunday: 'If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021. It's that simple.'
Joe Kennedy III, who represents Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District and is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy
Kennedy III tweeted: 'If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021. It's that simple'
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote on Twitter: 'If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session -- before a new Senate and President can take office - then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court.'
And Sen. Ed Markey tweeted Friday: 'Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year.
'If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.'
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, as well as former Rep. Beto O'Rourke had already raised the possibility of adding as many as six seats to the nine-seat court, long before Ginberg's death.
While running as a Democrat presidential candidate against Biden, Buttigieg was one of the first to put the idea of a Supreme Court expansion back on the table last March.
He said he would restructure the Supreme Court, expanding it to 15 justices with five justices selected by the court itself through a unanimous vote in a move that would help 'de-politicize' it.
O'Rourke also called it 'an idea we should explore' at a campaign stop in Iowa around the same time.
'What if there were five justices selected by Democrats, five justices selected by Republicans and those 10 then pick five more justices independent of those who picked the first 10,' O'Rourke said.
'I think that's an idea we should explore.'
Several Democrats have threatened to pack the Supreme Court next year if Trump plows ahead and nominates a justice to full RBG's position
Court packing is the move to appoint extra justices to the Supreme Court.
It is a move several Democrats have proposed if the party takes control of the Senate in order to increase the presence of liberal justices on the bench.
Franklin D. Roosevelt made attempts to pack the court back in 1937 when the Republican president wanted to pass his New Deal laws and needed more conservative