Fiery Schumer Demands Congress Use 'Biden Rule' in Choosing Kennedy Replacement
Dem Senate leader lobbies against pro-life pick.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned President Trump and Republicans against nominating a Supreme Court justice to replace Anthony Kennedy prior to the 2018 election, and demanded they reject any nominee who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"[R]eproductive rights for women and countless other protections for middle-class Americans are at stake," Schumer said.
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He demanded that the Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, abide by the so-called Biden Rule when deciding to commence proceedings to confirm a Supreme Court pick.
In 1992, then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) gave a speech calling for Congress to delay any prospective Supreme Court pick until after then-President George Bush's ultimately unsuccessful reelection bid. There was no vacancy on the bench at the time, but Biden drew references to the "rancor" over Justice Clarence Thomas' nomination.
McConnell cited the Biden Rule when deciding not to consider President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, before the 2016 election. Justice Neil Gorsuch was later nominated by President Trump.
In his speech Wednesday, Schumer asked whether Trump and Republicans will nominate someone who will "preserve protections for people with preexisting [health] conditions" or a justice who will "put health insurance companies over patients and... the federal government between a woman and her doctor."
"The Senate should reject on a bipartisan basis any justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade," he said, adding that the justice should not come from Trump's previous list of 25 potential justices the president compiled with the help of the Federalist Society during the search for late Justice Antonin Scalia's replacement.
Two brothers on Trump's list have been considered strong possibilities: Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah.) and his elder sibling, Utah Supreme Court Justice Thomas Rex Lee.
Fox News correspondent John Roberts said there are a few other names on the list that stick out as favorites, including District of Columbia Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
If Trump was to choose a woman, Roberts said, he might go with Seventh Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana.
The apparent runner-up in the nomination of Gorsuch, Third Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, remains on the list of potential Kennedy replacements as well.