Democrats have been discussing what to do when President-elect Donald Trump announces his pick to join the Supreme Court, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday night during a CNN town hall.
Sanders, during the event at George Washington University, was asked what if he thought Democrats should oppose any nominee Trump makes for the high court. The Vermont senator pointed out that he recently became a member of Senate Democratic leadership and that the topic came up. He refused to say what Democratic leadership has specifically discussed on the topic but did lay out his thinking.
“I won’t tell you what people said, but it was an issue that came up and here’s the problem that we had,” Sanders said going on to say: “The president of the United States, whether it is Barack Obama or Donald Trump, has the right to nominate somebody.”
Sanders noted that Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, Obama’s most recent pick to join the Supreme Court. Garland was nominated March 16 to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, but never got a hearing or vote.
“The Republicans refused to do that. They refused to, they violated, in my view, what the Constitution says,” Sanders continued.
“Now, as soon as Trump decides on who his nominee will be, they will no doubt come to us and say, ‘All right here’s the Constitution, we’ve gotta have hearings, you gotta vote on this guy.’ Oh, but even when you guys were in power, you rejected Obama’s guy, you didn’t even give them a hearing. So I think those are issues that have got to be taken into consideration.”
The Vermont senator then mumbled that it would be nice if Trump picked a moderate.
“But I think we’re going to have to wait and see how that plays out,” Sanders said.
His comments come as Senate Republicans move to pressure Senate Democrats to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court pick, whoever it might be. The conservative Judicial Crisis Network is planning to spend $10 million to pressure moderate Democrats to back Trump’s nominee.