Rep. Jerry Nadler punched back at Republicans proposing to confirm a new Supreme Court justice before the next term by suggesting Democrats add seats to the bench if they win control of the Senate in November.
“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,” Nadler wrote on Twitter.
“Filling the SCOTUS vacancy during a lame duck session, after the American people have voted for new leadership, is undemocratic and a clear violation of the public trust in elected officials. Congress would have to act and expanding the court would be the right place to start,” the New York Democrat continued.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., just hours after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said that a Trump nominee to the court “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said "nothing is off the table" if Republicans move forward with confirming a justice immediately.
“Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table," he said on a caucus call with Senate Democrats Saturday, a source on the call told Fox News. He added that "Everything Americans value is at stake."
“The Senate and the nation mourn the sudden passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the conclusion of her extraordinary American life,” McConnell said in a statement.
“In the last midterm election before Justice Scalia’s death in 2016, Americans elected a Republican Senate majority because we pledged to check and balance the last days of a lame-duck president’s second term. We kept our promise,” McConnell continued. “Since the 1880s, no Senate has confirmed an opposite-party president’s Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.”
McConnell added that “by contrast, Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary.”
“Once again, we will keep our promise,” he said. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”
President Trump also told Republicans it was their “obligation” to confirm a nominee “without delay.”
“@GOP We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
“We have this obligation, without delay!” he added.
But the nomination and confirmation process for the latest addition to the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, took 89 days total for confirmation. It took 57 days from Kavanaugh's nomination to his confirmation hearing.
There are 44 days until Election Day.
Democrats said the confirmation process should not happen until after the next term in the presidency, arguing Americans should have a say in the choice through the November election.
“There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president, and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden emphasized as he spoke to reporters Friday night.
In an accompanying statement, the former vice president stressed that "this was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016, when there were nearly 9 months before the election. That is the position the United States Senate must take now, when the election is less than two months away. We are talking about the Constitution and the Supreme Court. That institution should not be subject to politics."
Biden was referring to the Republican-controlled Senate's refusal in 2016 -- prior to the last presidential election -- to consider President Obama's nominee to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia. McConnell at the time cited the imminent presidential election for not holding any confirmation hearings or votes on the nominee, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.