Election 2020

Wasserman Schultz: Imagine a Trump-Appointed Supreme Court Justice

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks before a Democratic presidential primary debate Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democrats are beginning to take a potential Donald Trump presidency more seriously after his recent primary victories.

Making her case for Senate Republicans to confirm Obama’s choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) asked the public to imagine what a “Donald Trump-appointed” justice would do about voting rights.

“Senate Republicans are trying to argue that voters should have an opportunity to decide the direction of the court. Well, we’ve checked that box already because the people were loud and clear on the direction they thought the court should take when they elected President Obama in 2008 and re-elected him in 2012,” she said on a conference call.

By blocking Obama’s nominee, Wassermann Schultz said the Republican playbook says, “if you don’t like the election results try to change the rules.”

“The Republican Party believes that when fewer people vote they win. That’s why they have resisted attempts to expand access to the ballot box. Just take a look at where some of their party’s presidential contenders stand on those issues,” she said.

“Marco Rubio has repeatedly attacked early voting in Florida. Ted Cruz championed discriminatory voter ID laws in Texas and John Kasich eliminated same-day registration in Ohio and those are just the politicians who have records on the subject. After all his race-baiting and demagoguery, could you image what a Donald Trump-appointed justice would think about guaranteeing equal access to the ballot?”

Wassermann Schultz said limiting access to the ballot affects every citizen and disproportionately impacts “women, people of color, the LGBT community, the elderly and young people.”

“We must block any attempts to silence their voices,” she said.

The moderator never began the Q&A so Wasserman Schultz ended the conference call. Following the call, PJM asked the DNC if Wasserman Schultz is worried that Trump would be able to defeat the Democratic nominee.

“Trump is clearly beating his opponents in the Republican primary so what the Senate GOP needs to think about is whether they’re going to keep obstructing and leave the next SCOTUS pick to a Democrat or Trump, or if they’re going to do their job and give the president’s forthcoming nominee a hearing and a vote,” said Deshundra Jefferson, southern regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met with President Obama at the White House this week.

“I hope and pray that Senator Grassley and Senator McConnell and the other senators will understand that this is obstruction and they cannot be a part of it,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on the conference call. “This is just the latest sign of disrespect from a Republican Party that has treated this president with disrespect from the moment he took the oath.”

Those in the White House meeting said McConnell and Grassley remained firm on their pledge of no vote for an Obama Supreme Court nominee.

Rev. Al Sharpton said efforts to block Obama from filling the vacancy have “racial implications.”

“I feel he has been profiled from the beginning as he’s not the real president,” Sharpton said.

“The fact that they are not doing it clearly has racial implications to me but should concern all Americans whether they think it is racial or not,” he added.