LOS ANGELES - “At a certain point, you either have to respond in kind, or just let him roll over you, and I think that it’s time we respond.”
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushes ahead with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) told FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson that Democrats need to push back in whatever way they can.
“We can make them pay a price, we can make them think twice about it by pointing out the unbelievable hypocrisy,” Franken said, noting the shifting stance Republican Senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and John Cornyn (R-TX) have taken since the last election-year vacancy in 2016.
Beyond calling out the so-called hypocrisy, Franken admitted there is not much Senate Democrats can do procedurally to stop the appointment, as Senate Republicans already appear to have the necessary votes.
Should the nomination go through, and the High Court’s ideological balance shift to the Right, Michaelson asked Franken if he agreed with many on the Left who have proposed packing the court with additional liberal Justices.
“I think we should very definitely look at that,” Franken responded. “[Republicans] will have stolen two seats.”
During his appearance on The Issue Is, Franken, who sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee until he left the Senate in 2017, also opened up about his past experience with Judge Barrett, whom he questioned during her confirmation hearing for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“She’s an extreme ideologue,” Franken said, pointing to past statements that he believes indicate she wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and criminalize the destruction of fertilized eggs.
Referencing a 2016 CBS interview in which Barrett said President Obama should not be able to nominate a successor after Justice Scalia’s death, because that successor would have an ideological impact on the court’s balance of power, Franken also criticized Barrett for hypocrisy.
“She’s a total hypocrite for accepting the nomination, and every Republican on that committee is a hypocrite,” Franken said. “And it’s on tape.”
In a wide-ranging interview on The Issue Is, Franken also commented on the state of the Presidential race, his eponymous podcast, and how he would have taken on President Trump in a debate.
The Issue Is is California's only statewide political show. Watch FOX 11 Los Angeles Fridays at 10:30PM and Sundays at 9:00AM. For more showtimes and information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.