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NYC Lawmakers Call on Schumer to Expand Supreme Court

NY Assembly Member Elect Zohran Mamdani (L) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (R) (Campaign and Senate websites)

Oct. 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Several local lawmakers are calling on U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to expand the Supreme Court after Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in Monday night, cementing a conservative majority for generations to come.

Zohran Mamdani, the Assembly Member Elect for District 36 in Astoria, issued a statement Tuesday calling on the Senate minority leader to add additional justices to the Supreme Court. The statement is signed by more than 20 New York City officials.

Mamdani — who’s poised to take the Astoria Assembly seat — released the statement after Senate Republicans pushed Barrett’s nomination through just days ahead of the presidential election.

“This court is illegitimate, and must not be allowed to wreak misery on millions of Americans in service of a far-right minority and their corporate backers,” he wrote on behalf of himself and the signatories. “Congressional Democrats must end the filibuster and pass legislation to expand the court.”

Democrats have denounced Senate Republicans as hypocritical since they refused to even hold hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, one of former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, in February 2016. Republicans had said voters should have an input on who nominates the next justice on Election Day, which was months away at the time.

Mamdani and his progressive co-signers said it’s time Democrats adopt the practices of Republicans.

“The pursuit of substantive principles, not conformity with process norms, is what defines Republicans’ posture toward the federal judiciary, and it’s why they now control it…,” they said. “Democrats must start playing the game as they do, and entertain no criticism for doing so.”

The lawmakers urged Sen. Schumer to lead the way in expanding the court. If Democrats take control of the Senate on Election Day, Schumer is likely to become the Senate majority leader and would decide whether or not to move such legislation forward.

The Senate and House would then have to vote to pass the legislation and the president would then have to sign it into law to make “packing the court” legal. Should Joe Biden win, he would be able to appoint additional justices to the Supreme Court and they would be approved by a Democratic Senate.

“We call on Senator Schumer to immediately, publicly support the expansion of the Supreme Court, to commit to bringing such legislation to a vote should Democrats recapture the majority, and to whip support for such legislation within his caucus,” they said in the statement. “Anything less is unacceptable, and we commit to organizing to hold him accountable should he fail to do so.”

They also urged Biden to sign such legislation into law should he win the election.

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LOLitics

Typical strategy. Play by the same rules the other team did in 2016 and now that team wants to change the game. This “tit-for-tat” approach simply creates a precedent where each time the powers shift they will “pack the court” and it will not result in anything except gridlock and division. Instead of changing the court why not bridge the gap and come together on policy?

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Paul

Excellent reply. If the dems want to win, do what they did with Biden, run a moderate progressive not a divisive identity/social engineering obsessed de facto Neo con like Hillary, exactly who swing state moderate progressive voters who elect presidents in our electoral college did not want.

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Paul

Typical knee jerk reactions from far out lefties. (For the record I am a moderate progressive and think Trump is the greatest danger to our democracy since the Civil War.).

You don’t solve the problem by structural changes to the Constitution or gov’t because you lose. They usually backfire like with FDR packing the court or the republicans with the two term POTUS limit because they were angry re FDR and then right afterwards denied Reagan a probably third time.

You beat trump by not running an identity/social engineering obsessed, dog whistling elect me because I am a woman and white men are the source of all problems in America, divisive campaign like Hillary with a de facto Neo con tilt ie never meeting a war, Wall Street banker, trade agreement I did not like. This is exactly what moderate progressive voters in swing states that elect presidents in our electoral college did not want.

Learn from Obama. He ran an inclusive campaign as an American uniting everybody and not as an angry young black man dividing everybody.

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