LOS ANGELES - “It's like filling the seat of a Civil Rights icon with someone who, you know, really doesn't care about it… it’s a blow to all Americans.”
Friday, moments after reports surfaced that President Trump intended to nominate Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barbara Boxer reacted exclusively to FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson.
Boxer, the former four-term Senator from California, criticized Barrett as coming from a long line of Trump-appointed judges who are vetted by The Federalist Society.
“The Federalist Society is not interested in having a national government that really makes life better for people,” Boxer said, claiming that the Conservative legal organization is focused on a strict interpretation of the Constitution that does not create the level playing field that Justice Ginsburg fought for.
With less than 40 days until the Presidential election on November 3, Boxer said that Democrats should consider every tool in their arsenal to respond to push back against the President’s nomination of Judge Barrett.
“I agree with Chuck Schumer, everything should be on the table,” Boxer said. “When there’s a betrayal like this, you should look at everything.”
Among the ideas being bounced around as a response to a new Republican-appointed Justice, Democrats have considered ending the Senate filibuster, statehood for Washington DC and/or Puerto Rico, expanding the Supreme Court, and term-limits for Justices, as set-forth in new House legislation by Democrats Ro Khanna, Joe Kennedy III, and Don Beyer.
On the idea of court packing, Boxer pushed back on the criticism that it could result in a court of 20, 30, or more Justices.
“Over the years, we have seen the Court change in size, it’s gone up, it’s gone down, it’s gone up, and up, and down,” Boxer said. “But I’m not saying that’s what should be done, I’m saying it should be on the table.”
Still, Boxer told Michaelson she’s not fully convinced, or giving up hope, that the President’s nominee will even be confirmed as it is.
“We already have two of the four we need saying they won’t vote for this, and we have at least four or five of them who are in very tough races,” Boxer said, referencing how Republicans in the Senate may not even have enough votes to confirm a nominee.
As it stands, Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have indicated they are not in favor of a nomination taking place until a new President is elected.
Beyond the politics of the moment, Boxer also reflected on the legacy of Justice Ginsburg, who ascended to the High Court in 1993, the same year Boxer was sworn into the Senate.
“She meant a lot to the female Senators on both sides of the aisle,” Boxer recounted, adding that her love for the former Justice was immediate, given the fact they were two Jewish women who hailed from Brooklyn and were just barely five feet tall.
Boxer’s praise for Ginsburg continued, with Boxer saying Ginsburg’s experiences with discrimination led her to be a fighter against inequality of all kinds, regardless if it was based on gender, race, religion, or on who someone loves.
Boxer went further, comparing Ginsburg’s death to that of another Democratic leader lost this year: Congressman John Lewis.
“It’s really impossible to describe the loss,” she said. “When you lose someone who really felt the stain of discrimination, you know that they have such authenticity that they can really change minds, and one of Ruth’s goals was to change minds, and she was able to do that.”
In a wide-ranging interview on The Issue Is, Boxer also discussed recent efforts by California Governor Gavin Newsom to curb climate change and her hopes for the next generation of voters.
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