In an unusual new partnership, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined forces Sunday night with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to mobilize voters against the Republican plan to ram through their pick to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We need to make sure that we mobilize on an unprecedented scale to ensure this vacancy is reserved for the next president,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a news conference outside Brooklyn’s James Madison High School, which Ginsburg and Schumer attended.
Ocasio-Cortez and Schumer called on voters to pressure their senators to demand they hold fast against a rushed confirmation of a new justice.
“It’s extraordinarily important that we understand the stakes of this vacancy,” Ocasio-Cortez warned. “Our reproductive rights are on the line. Our labor rights are on the line. Our right to health care is on the line.”
She and Schumer also sounded the alarm about threats to voting rights and the environment and the worsening plight of immigrants.
Asked whether the House would launch another impeachment against President Donald Trump or Attorney General William Barr to stall a nomination, Ocasio-Cortez said: “We must consider … all of the tools [at] our disposal.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday refused to rule out impeachment.
“We all need to be more courageous and … make sure that our rights are stabilized,” said Ocasio-Cortez. And to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky): “We need to tell him that he is playing with fire. We need to make sure that this vacancy is protected, that our election continues and that the American people have their say.”
Schumer warned darkly that 100 years of progress could be at stake.
“We’re here because the American people want .. rights reserved. We do not want to turn the clock back,” he said. “And we only need two more senators to say that they will abide by RBG’s wish” not to fill her spot until after the election, Schumer added.
Two Republican senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — have already issued statements that the Senate shouldn’t replace Ginsburg until after the election.
Schumer cited a Reuters poll released Sunday which found that 62% of Americans, including many Republicans, believe November’s winner should nominate a justice to fill the vacancy.
“We’re not close to an election, we’re in an election,” Schumer said. “To try to decide this at this late moment is despicable and wrong, and against democracy.”
He added: “If we win the majority, everything is on the table.”