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Queens Lawmakers Among NYC Elected Officials Calling on Schumer to Expand Supreme Court

NY Assembly Member Elect Zohran Mamdani (L) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (R) (Campaign and Senate websites)

Oct. 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Several Queens lawmakers are calling on U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to expand the Supreme Court after Justice Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in Monday night, cementing a conservative majority for generations to come.

Zohran Mamdani, the Assembly Member Elect for District 36 in Astoria, issued a statement Tuesday calling on the Senate minority leader to add additional justices to the Supreme Court. The statement is signed by more than 20 New York City officials.

Mamdani — who’s poised to take the Astoria Assembly seat — released the statement after Senate Republicans pushed Barrett’s nomination through just days ahead of the presidential election.

“This court is illegitimate, and must not be allowed to wreak misery on millions of Americans in service of a far-right minority and their corporate backers,” he wrote on behalf of himself and the signatories. “Congressional Democrats must end the filibuster and pass legislation to expand the court.”

Democrats have denounced Senate Republicans as hypocritical since they refused to even hold hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, one of former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, in February 2016. Republicans had said voters should have an input on who nominates the next justice on Election Day, which was months away at the time.

Mamdani and his progressive co-signers — including Queens officials Assembly Member Ron Kim, Sen. Jessica Ramos, Sen. Michael Gianaris, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Antonio Reynoso as well as Assembly Member Elect for District 31 Khaleel Anderson — said it’s time Democrats adopt the practices of Republicans.

“The pursuit of substantive principles, not conformity with process norms, is what defines Republicans’ posture toward the federal judiciary, and it’s why they now control it…,” they said. “Democrats must start playing the game as they do, and entertain no criticism for doing so.”

The lawmakers urged Sen. Schumer to lead the way in expanding the court. If Democrats take control of the Senate on Election Day, Schumer is likely to become the Senate majority leader and would decide whether or not to move such legislation forward.

The Senate and House would then have to vote to pass the legislation and the president would then have to sign it into law to make “packing the court” legal. Should Joe Biden win, he would be able to appoint additional justices to the Supreme Court and they would be approved by a Democratic Senate.

“We call on Senator Schumer to immediately, publicly support the expansion of the Supreme Court, to commit to bringing such legislation to a vote should Democrats recapture the majority, and to whip support for such legislation within his caucus,” they said in the statement. “Anything less is unacceptable, and we commit to organizing to hold him accountable should he fail to do so.”

They also urged Biden to sign such legislation into law should he win the election.

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27 Comments

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John Jay

Moscow Mitch has ignored the will of the people time and time again and has even ignored his own rationale for things. As a former Republican I had to leave the party due to the constant hypocrisy by leadership. While it was unethical for Republicans to refuse to hold hearings for a Supreme Court nominee by Obama and it was unethical to rush a new nominee through just days before an election, it was legal. Expanding the court is also totally legal and constitutional and it has happened before. Instead of the constant back and forth of each party pointing fingers and blaming the other party for wanting to get their way (sure happens a lot with the Republicans though) we have to stop politicizing the courts. It’s time to have a bipartisan team to find ways to address this issue and so we don’t have a politicized court. It’s worth doing a little research on “supreme court reform” and look at various ways it could be done. The Brooking Institute which is quoted on a number of topics by both parties has a good article on the issue worth reading: https://www.brookings.edu/policy2020/votervital/should-we-restructure-the-supreme-court/

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John Lynch

No, its time for the Dems to act like the GOP. GOP blocked Obamas selection during an election cycle because its “never done”, then turn around and do it themselves during this election cycle. I fully support the move.

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Moe da bartender

by the look of these comments, even in nyc this isnt a good idea.
democrats are pathetic.

Ill be voting trump tomorrow night, not because Im crazy about him, its the lunacy of the left that gives me no choice

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Crybaby Conservatism

Moe- “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices,” George Orwell

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Crybaby Conservatism

Only 2 Republican investigation committees, The FBI and DOJ say Biden is not corrupt. Keep reading Murdoch press. You know the papers where reporters refuse to put their names on articles.

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Crybaby Conservatism

Hashtagger – The “right” already beat them to it. Republicans have a history of changing the rules then crying about and ignoring their very own rule changes.

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ABoondy

liberals making up laws as they go along…that only benefits them and nobody else. when was the last time you saw a liberal politician punished and incarcerated from tricking people? they do what they want when they want.

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Refugee from South America

Hugo Chavez packed the courts in Venezuela. Once he took control of the courts there was nothing stopping him from seizing the people’s businesses and private property. Even thou chavez has been dead for years the people of Venezuela still suffer under his policies. Very sad.

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Crybaby Conservatism

@Refugee- Conservatives via Mitch McConnel have been stacking the courts since the Orange Dotard took office. They left hundreds of Judge vacancies by refusing to hold hearings to appoint them under the previous administration. Look it up.

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A liitle confused maybe

The Republicans have only filled vacancies since Trump has been in office. The Democrats would have done the same. Packing the court means adding more justices to the nine that represent the Supreme Court.

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You're comparing Trump to Hugo Chavez

You’re right, Trump packed the court, and pushed through a nomination done the way he said Obama should not have done.

Like you said, now the right has a solid majority on the court, so they can seize the people’s businesses and private property. Trump is already seizing private land in Texas to build the wall.

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Elena

My sister in Astoria voted for Simotas but she lost. Astoria is now a socialist neighborhood.

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Elena’s Sister.

It’s a socialist country when Uncle Sam just spent 7trillion tax dollars to bail out corporations, billionaires and stock market.

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Crybaby Conservatism

Trump and his band of Republican cowards have stacked the Supreme Court to shift more wealth to their financial backers. Right to work legislation destroys individual wealth and keeps the wealth in the hands of a wealthy few just look at the RTW states, google them. Fact.,You don’t want an abortion then don’t have one. Women still have a right to control their own bodies but for how long?

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Wayne

You sound like a commie. You talk against greed but then think it’s ok when government gets greedy and takes peoples property away. There are plenty of communist refugees in Queens who will tell you what communism is really all about.

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I don't think you understand the wave metaphor

The right controls the senate and apparently you didn’t know but…the president is an ultra-wealthy elite Republican! So is was actually already mostly red.

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Another democrat hissy fit

I swear, liberals are like spoiled children. Whenever things don’t go their way, they have major temper tantrums, or should I say tan-Trumps?

A new judge was duly appointed by the president and approved by the senate that you don’t particularly like. Deal with it, LIKE ADULTS, and move on.

Your party does not have a divine right to rule.

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Crybaby Conservatism

Republicans are the ones with a history of throwing hiss fits. Fact!! They use these fits to implement rule changes then cry and ignore their very own rule changes. Remember the closed chamber chamber rule Republicans implemented and cried on Fox News about? Remember Obama’s Supreme Court appointment election year block ? The voters will !

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John Lynch

No, its time for the Dems to act like the GOP. GOP blocked Obamas selection during an election cycle because its “never done”, then turn around and do it themselves during this election cycle. I fully support the move.

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