Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks at the Woman’s March in New York City in Jan. 2019. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – Reproductive rights, labor rights, the right to healthcare, and “our climate” are on the line in the looming battle over the Supreme Court vacancy, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday night.
She urged lawmakers to use “every procedural tool available to us to ensure that we buy ourselves the time necessary” to prevent President Trump from being able to fill the vacancy arising as a result of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Ocasio-Cortez also had a message for the Senate Majority Leader, who has pledged that a nominee named by Trump will get a vote on the Senate floor.
“And to Mitch McConnell,” she said, “we need to tell him that he is playing with fire.”
The comment comes after Americans watched a number of cities burning in a summer of anger and unrest.
Ocasio-Cortez was speaking alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at James Madison High School in Brooklyn. Ginsberg, who died on Friday aged 87, was in the class in 1950. (Schumer attended the same school later.)
“It’s extraordinarily important that we understand the stakes of this vacancy,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“Our reproductive rights are on the line,” she said. “Our labor rights are on the line. Our right to healthcare is on the line. Labor and union protections are on the line. Our climate is on the line.”
“With an early appointment, all of our rights, the rights that so many people died for, voting rights, reproductive rights, healthcare rights, all of those rights go right – are at risk, with this appointment.”
Ocasio-Cortez called for mobilization at an unprecedented level, “to ensure that this vacancy is reserved for the next president,” urging voters, especially in swing states, to call on their senators to make sure the vacancy is kept open.
“We need to make sure that we realize and fight this fight with the weight of every person who sacrificed for voting rights, every person who sacrificed their wellbeing and their lives, to make sure they could marry whomever they love, to make sure that they could live freely and safely in a workplace.”
Asked whether a Biden administration – in the event Trump’s pick is confirmed – could expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court, Schumer said the Democrats would first need to win control of the Senate.
“Once we win the majority, God willing, everything is on the table.”
Schumer was asked about Amy Coney Barrett – a conservative, pro-life judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on Trump’s list of prospective nominees since late 2017.
“She stands for all the things Ruth Bader Ginsberg was against, and so many things that all the – that the vast majority of American people are against,” he said of the judge, a devout Catholic and mother of seven.
“I don’t know if she’ll be the nominee, but someone of that philosophy does not belong on the court, and could cement a hard-right, conservative court that for a generation could turn the clock back on the rights, the aspirations, the hopes, of the majority of the American people.”