With the news of Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court, the question for anyone to the left of Roseanne is: What will the Democrats do to try and prevent the court from devastating protections for women, people of color, the poor, and LGBTQ people? How will they stand up for us?
Well, we’re slowly but surely getting our answers. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who represents the blue state of Connecticut, issued this wet burp of a statement on Wednesday afternoon:
The senator also tweeted, almost as uselessly, that Trump should choose a judge “in Justice Kennedy’s mold.”
Inspiring stuff. Please, President Trump, make a centrist choice, would you? Please? I’ll be your friend?
Senator Ben Cardin, of Maryland, offered up an even weaker line, bafflingly saying he didn’t want to “throw the first punch.”
Other Democrats have been at least a little more outspoken. Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, called for the Senate to wait until the new term, after the midterm elections, to vote on a nominee, as the Republican majority forced the previous Congress to do:
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and California Senator Kamala Harris both echoed that sentiment, with Schumer specifically calling on both parties in the Senate to vote down any nominee who would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade.
It remains to be seen what, if anything, Democrats will actually do to pressure the GOP into actually adhering to that, other than appealing to norms and procedure. Pointing out the GOP’s hypocrisy will not work, no matter how often you do it. It’s a different ballgame than 2016, when the Republican Senate majority successfully blocked Merrick Garland, but there are still things they can try, at least. Voters deserve a party that will do something, even if it turns out to be futile; a party that will rage and fight for their rights.
Update, 4:42pm: Blumenthal has issued a new statement on Twitter, indicating he agrees with his colleagues that a vote on a replacement should wait until after a new Congress is seated, though again not addressing whether he thinks Democrats should do anything to ensure that happens: