House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that House Democrats have a list of options to respond to President Donald Trump nominating a Supreme Court justice this year.
During an interview with ABC host George Stephanopoulos, the California Democrat would not dismiss the idea of another round of impeachment.
“Some have mentioned the possibility, if they try to push through a nominee in a lame-duck session, that you in the House could move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination,” Stephanopoulos said.
“We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” Nancy Pelosi responded, but declined to discuss specific actions.
Stephanopoulos later pressed, “But to be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver. You’re not ruling anything out?”
“Good morning, Sunday morning,” Pelosi said with a smirk, adding, “When we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy, it requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”
President Trump said that he expects to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court “next week” and will be picking a woman. Top Senate Republicans have said they will proceed with considering a nominee should Trump pick someone.
The House voted to impeach Trump in December over two Ukraine-related articles of impeachment. The GOP-led Senate acquitted him in February.
In response, the GOP House Judiciary Committee called it “one of the most ridiculous ideas ever presented by @SpeakerPelosi. And that’s saying something.”
Article II of the Constitution specifically grants the president the responsibility of appointing justices to the Supreme Court by a process of “Advice and Consent of the Senate.” However, the Dems have expressed outrage over Republicans not adhering to a 2016 precedent set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, which prevented a Supreme Court confirmation during an election year.
Merrick Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was President Barack Obama’s nominee in 2016 to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. However, McConnell declined to allow the Senate to vote on his nomination, saying the new president should have the ability to fill the vacancy.
McConnell said during a Fox News interview in February that confirming a justice this year would be consistent with his opinion in 2016. “I said you’d have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy on the Supreme Court, occurring during a presidential election year, was confirmed by a Senate of a different party than the president. That was the situation in 2016. That would not be the situation in 2020,” he said.