House

Ocasio-Cortez: Republicans don’t believe Democrats ‘have the stones to play hardball’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)  took to Twitter late Monday to call for the expansion of the Supreme Court as Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a justice, with the progressive first-term lawmaker arguing that Republicans don’t believe Democrats “have the stones to play hardball like they do. “

“Expand the court,” the congresswoman wrote in response to the 52-48 Senate vote Monday evening to confirm Barret after a weeks-long partisan fight. 

“Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do,” Ocasio-Cortez added in a follow-up tweet. “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,” she added. 

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), a fellow “squad” member, retweeted Ocasio-Cortez’s messages Monday evening. 

“Remember that Republicans have lost 6 of the last 7 popular votes, but have appointed 6 of the last 9 justices,” she wrote. “By expanding the court we fix this broken system and have the court better represent the values of the American people.” 

The addition of more justices to the Supreme Court, as well as the end to the Senate filibuster, has been gaining increasing support among Democrats. 

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), an ally of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said earlier this month that he is open to expanding the Supreme Court. 

And Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), long viewed as a key swing vote on the issue, hinted during the Senate’s debate that he was open to expanding the Supreme Court, noting that the number of justices is not inscribed in the Constitution. 

“Oh, no! Somebody is talking about breaking the rules and packing the court. Well, of course, Article 3 of the Constitution doesn’t establish how many members of the Supreme Court there should be,” King said. 

“I don’t want to pack the court. I don’t want to change the number. I don’t want to have to do that. But if all of this rule breaking is taking place, what does the majority expect?” he added.

Senate Democrats warned of intense pushback over the GOP push to confirm Barrett just before Election Day, with many pointing out a double standard following Senate Republicans’ refusal to provide a hearing for former President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, in 2016. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday night that Republicans may eventually regret their decision to push to confirm President Trump’s latest nominee. 

“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,” Schumer said. 

“My colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think,” he added.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Amy Coney Barrett Angus King Charles Schumer Chris Coons Christopher Coons Donald Trump House Ilhan Omar Joe Biden Merrick Garland Senate Supreme Court

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