07.09.18

Sen. Coons: ‘If you don't like the ways that this new justice will impact everything … speak up, get active, and vote.’

Sen. Coons: “This is an unprecedented level of hypocrisy where the Republicans are playing by different rules when if there's a different president in the White House”

Sen. Coons: “For us to be facing a trade war with China and at the same time have President Trump be picking fights with our key allies in Europe and North America, strikes me as just nonsensical and many Republican senators feel the same”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Morning Joe to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court nomination and foreign policy.

“As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I'll do my job and review the nominee closely before reaching a conclusion,” said Senator Coons. “We shouldn't be having a discussion. This is an unprecedented level of hypocrisy where the Republicans are playing by different rules when if there's a different president in the White House. For ten months, they refused to even hold a hearing on the vacant seats that previously had been held by Justice Scalia after President Obama nominated an imminently confirmable moderate judge. We're just four months before an election and the conversation is about rushing this through. I don't think we should be rushing. I frankly don't think we should be considering this nominee.”

Video and audio available here.

Excerpts from interview here:

Sen. Coons on SCOTUS: Well, as you know, one of the things that Senator Schumer has been particularly skilled at is keeping our caucus together, as we have dealt with an onslaught of issues from President Trump that might have divided any other caucus at any other time. We're in the minority. So, our ability to challenge this nominee is going to be difficult and Senator Schumer will work hard to hold us together. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I'll do my job and review the nominee closely before reaching a conclusion. We shouldn't be having a discussion. This is an unprecedented level of hypocrisy where the Republicans are playing by different rules when if there's a different president in the White House. For ten months, they refused to even hold a hearing on the vacant seats that previously had been held by Justice Scalia after President Obama nominated an imminently confirmable moderate judge. We're just four months before an election and the conversation is about rushing this through. I don't think we should be rushing. I frankly don't think we should be considering this nominee. 

Sen. Coons on President Trump’s upcoming summits with NATO and Putin: Richard, as you know I returned from a bipartisan, bicameral delegation trip. We visited four countries in northern Europe. We visited two vital NATO allies. In every meeting, they raised those issues. Tariffs and divisions between the United States and our key European allies. Their sacrifice alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their improvement in their defense spending. And their grave concerns about what President Trump might give away to Putin in Helsinki a week from today. I do think there are things we can do. Senator Corker and Senator Flake were on the decision. Senator Flake was leading it. Senator Corker has made a strong stand for to us pull back some of the power that the Senate should have to review any attempt by the President to impose tariffs, especially on close security allies. I'll remind you last month in Quebec at the G7, President Trump picked a whole lot of fights particularly with Canada and for us to be facing a trade war with China and at the same time have President Trump be picking fights with our key allies in Europe and North America, strikes me as just nonsensical and many Republican senators feel the same. 

More on SCOTUS: There's little we procedurally can do. If Republicans are willing to change the rules of the Senate, which they demonstrated they are in changing the majority threshold required at the fight over now Justice Gorsuch, they changed the rules on filibuster margins, we could pull something that would last a day or two. But if they are willing to change the rules there's very little we can do with just 49 members that would prevent them from moving ahead with a confirmation. So, what I'm doing and what I expect my colleagues to do is to remind our viewers and constituents just how important this is, to ask them to speak up and express their points to their senators and to remind folks that elections have consequences. If you don't like the ways that this new justice will impact everything from reproductive rights to health care to pre-existing conditions, to labor rights and voting rights, speak up, get active, and vote. That's our best tool. 

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Press Contact

CONTACT: Sean Coit at 202-224-5042 or Sean_Coit@coons.senate.gov