The fight over the 2017 Kavanaugh nomination already looked tame by comparison Sunday as Democrats geared up to block whomever President Trump picks to fill the seat left by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Calls of “burn it down” and “this is war” raged on social media as activists held weekend protests outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s homes in Louisville, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C., and a rally outside the Supreme Court featuring Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s body isn’t even cold and Mitch McConnell is dancing on her grave. This is war. Dems have powerful weapons. Now is the time to use them,” tweeted progressive Hollywood director and actor Rob Reiner.
Democrats warned of major institutional changes if a justice is confirmed before Nov. 3, including adding Supreme Court justices and approving statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday refused to rule out another impeachment.
“If in fact they are successful in placing a justice on the court, I think that what Democrats have to do, assuming that Biden is president and there is a Senate majority in for the Democrats, we need to think about court reform,” said former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on MSNBC. “And at a minimum, as part of that reform package, I think additional justices needed to be placed on the Supreme Court.”
Tweeted Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Massachusetts Democrat: “If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021. It’s that simple.”
Media figures were particularly vocal. “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f—-ing thing down,” tweeted University of California, Riverside professor Reza Aslan, an author and former CNN host.
Writers Guild of America (East) president Beau Willimon tweeted, “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election.”
Scot Ross, a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, had a similar suggestion: “If you can’t shut it down, burn it down,” he tweeted.
The furious reaction, coming before Mr. Trump has even selected a nominee, drew a backlash from Republicans such as former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.
“Radical statements. Threats to change the rules. Cancel culture, riots and calls to ‘burn it down’ from some Leftwing activists,” Mr. Grenell tweeted. “These people are sore losers who have never accepted losing a fair election. Don’t reward their tactics. They need to lose again!”
More activism is expected. The Sunrise Movement called for its supporters to “take to the streets,” while protest groups posted announcements for upcoming rallies and marches.
Ms. Warren led chants of “I will fight” at Saturday night’s rally at the Supreme Court in front of a banner with the message, “Honor RBG/No Confirmation Until Inauguration.”
“So in her memory, say to Mitch McConnell when he thinks he can ram through a Supreme Court justice, 45 days before an election: I will fight,” Ms. Warren told the crowd.