Just moments after Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in and seated on the US Supreme Court, Democrats from both houses of the Legislative Branch took to the microphones threatening retaliation for the Republicans move to seat her in an election year.
Justice Barrett was sworn in late Monday night and will officially begin her tenure Tuesday after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers her judicial oath.
“The Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire…The next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), said from the Senate floor Monday.
“My colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think,” he added.
Senator Chuck Schumer on the Republican rush to confirm Amy Coney Barrett:
“You will regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”
“Monday, October 26, 2020. It will go down as one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate.” pic.twitter.com/5zeYiDAmxB
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 26, 2020
Schumer has alluded to the possibility of packing both the US Supreme Court and federal appeals courts in retaliation for seating Barrett should Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden win the presidency on November 3, 2020.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was more transparent about what Progressives and Democrats might pursue if November sees a Biden victory. “Should we expand the court, let’s take a look and see,” Pelosi said. “Maybe we need more district courts as well.”
PELOSI: "Should we expand the court, lets take a look and see." pic.twitter.com/hVS5OaT9nW
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 27, 2020
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who recently announced she will not be voting lockstep with regular Democrats in the House for a Pelosi Speakership should Democrats retain that chamber, was more concise, saying simply, “Expand the court.”
Expand the court.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 27, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez followed up with, “Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”
And US Rep. Rashida Talib (D-MI), tweeted, “We are going to take back the White House & Senate next week with a resounding mandate from the people to fight back against Trump’s illegitimately stacked judiciary. We must expand the Court if we’re serious about the transformational change the people are crying out for.”
We are going to take back the White House & Senate next week with a resounding mandate from the people to fight back against Trump’s illegitimately stacked judiciary. We must expand the Court if we’re serious about the transformational change the people are crying out for.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) October 27, 2020
Until 2013, the Senate required a 60-vote threshold to confirm a judge – including US Supreme Court justices – to the federal judiciary. It was former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who eliminated the 60-vote threshold, invoking the “nuclear option” to circumvent objections from Republicans to President Obama’s nominations to the lower courts and the executive branch.
In 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), applied the Democrats low threshold for nominee confirmation to the federal judiciary to the US Supreme Court.