Progressive activists are gathering Saturday outside Sen. Chuck Schumer's Brooklyn, New York home with a clear message for the Senate minority leader: "Democracy has its eyes on you, Chuck."
The action kicks off just hours ahead of President Donald Trump's expected formal announcement of "far-right ideologue" Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have vowed to push a vote on a replacement for Ginsburg ahead of Election Day, prompting fierce outrage from Democrats and democracy advocates like MoveOn Political Action executive director Rahna Epting, who said the move amounts to "a brazen and transparently political power-grab."
The SCOTUS decision is not set!— New York Communities for Change (@nychange) September 24, 2020
This Saturday, join people at @SenSchumer Apt to demand that he use all the tools in the toolbox to delay and block any appointment to #saveSCOTUS https://t.co/zWfApzmpO4
Hosts of the Saturday mobilization targeting the New York Democrat—including Center for Popular Democracy Action, New York Communities for Change, and Common Cause New York—say in their call-to-action: "At this moment everything is at stake: Trump using the high court to steal the election, the future of the Affordable Care Act, Roe v. Wade, voting rights, and civil rights. All in the middle of a pandemic and escalating climate disasters."
Given the stakes, event organizers are demanding Democratic leadership do everything within their power to block Trump from moving the Supreme Court further to the right. The groups outline three key demands:
- The Minority Leader and the Democrats must publicly, vocally refuse to hold any hearings or confirm any new justice until after the inauguration of the next president.
- The Minority Leader must use every procedural block to jam processes and delay proceedings: suspending unanimous consent; refuse to play on any vote; force everything to be read; filibustering; objection.
- The Minority Leader must make it very clear that when Democrats take back the Senate, they will repeal the filibuster repeal and expand the court.
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Failure to block the president's nominee from advancing, warned Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director at CPD Action, would add to fears Trump won't accept a peaceful transfer of power—as he has stated—should Democrat Joe Biden win the November election.
"We're here to tell Sen. Schumer and the Democrats that our eyes are on them—they must do everything in their power to stop Barrett's nomination from moving forward," Archila said in a statement ahead of the action.
"The president has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, and Barret's nomination makes this scenario even more plausible," she said.
"A court with Barrett will not protect our votes; it will protect Trump's desire to stay in power," added Archila. "We're calling on Democratic leaders to safeguard the American people's right to choose our president by stopping this nomination."
Trump, for his part, said Friday that he'll announce his Supreme Court pick Saturday at 5 pm from the Rose Garden. Barrett is expected to be named.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said this week that she would "certainly satisfy the core of the retrograde Trump coalition: Evangelicals who are heartily behind Trump because he is giving them control over the courts and otherwise advancing their vision of a Christian, white supremacist state, as well as mega-capitalists who benefit from the endless spirals of deregulation this administration has brought."
"Trump's primary personal motivation in her nomination is to ensure a vote that will support any and all election challenges to benefit Trump—entrenching the harmful legacy of Bush v. Gore," said CCR.