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These Democratic Leaders Have Called for Expanding the Court and Abolishing the Filibuster

Multiple Democratic leaders have called for expanding the court and abolishing the filibuster.  

  • Joe Biden refused to dismiss Democratic threats to pack the Supreme Court. 
    • VP JOE BIDEN: “It’s a legitimate question, but let me tell you why I’m not going answer that question. Because it will shift the focus, that’s what he wants, he never wants to talk about the issue at hand and he always tries to change the subject. Let’s say I answer that question, then the whole debates gonna be about what Biden said or didn’t say, Biden said he would or wouldn’t.”
  • Sen. Kamala Harris claimed “everything is on the table,” including packing the Supreme Court.  
    • SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: “We have to take this challenge head-on, and everything is on the table to do that.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said “everything is on the table,” including packing the court and ending filibusters, should Biden win. 
    • SCHUMER: “It will be a decision that is — comes to the Senate. We first have to win the majority before that can happen. But once we win the majority, god willing, everything is on the table.”
    • SCHUMER: “We first have to win the majority. If we don’t win the majority, these questions are all moot. If we win the majority, everything is on the table.”
  • Sen. Schumer a few days later stuck to his message in a press conference.  
  • SCHUMER: “All I’ve said is our first job is to get the majority back and everything is on the table. But it was – everything is on the table. We are going to look at how we can produce change. … Everything is on the table.”

Democrats have lined up behind their leadership.  

      • SEN. RICHARD BLUEMENTHAL (D-CT): “If Republicans recklessly & reprehensibly force a SCOTUS vote before the election—nothing is off the table.”
      • SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-CT): “There are lots of options here …and I don’t want to lock in on one.”
      • SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): “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.”
      • SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): “This is long overdue court reform as far as I’m concerned, and I have been thinking about court reform and what we can do regarding the Supreme Court to make it so much more objective. And so, this is not something that a lot of us have not thought about but on the other hand, but after the election, we will only have a serious discussion about any of these things if the Democrats take back the Senate.”
      • SEN. BRIAN SHATZ (D-HI): “We have to learn how to take one battle at a time…We have to try to win this one if we can, and I’m not giving up on this. And then failing that, we have to win the Senate and the presidency. And then we’ll evaluate our options.”
      • SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): “I’ve always said I’m open, even before this seat opened, to consider structural changes in the United States Senate… So those reform possibilities were on the table before we got to this point with the Supreme Court Justice opening and they will remain on the table afterwards.”
      • SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “Well, Chuck is right. As he said, everything should be on the table. And we will use everything we’ve got.”
      • SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now …”
      • REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): “we should leave all options on the table, including the number of Justices that are on the Supreme Court.”
      • REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): “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.”
      • FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: “In response to a question, Attorney General Holder said that given the unfairness, unprecedented obstruction, and disregard of historical precedent by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, when Democrats retake the majority they should consider expanding the Supreme Court to restore adherence to previously accepted norms for judicial nominations.” 


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