Anti-racism researcher Ibram X. Kendi falsely claimed that the GOP "changed the rules" of the Supreme Court by confirming Trump nominee Justice Amy Coney Barrett to "secure the majority." No rules were changed.
"The Republicans changed the rules and added their Supreme Court justices to secure the majority," Kendi tweeted. "And so why can't the Democrats can [sic] change the rules and add their Supreme Court justices to secure the majority?"
Kendi has since double downed emphatically, clarifying that he means the GOP "not considering an Election Year nominee" and four years years later confirming a nominee during the 2020 presidential campaign. "All of these changes are allowable under the Constitution. So if the GOP can, why can’t the Dems?"
"No surprise Republicans suddenly don’t think: The U.S. Senate should not consider a Supreme Court nominee during an Election Year to be a rule they created in 2016, changing precedent."
"It’s hardly surprising Republicans don’t believe they changed their own rule in 2020," Kendi followed up.
"No one created this 'rule.' The GOP position in 2016 was we have no obligation to confirm their nominee. Obviously this rule doesn’t apply to our own nominee #SCOTUS," conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza snapped back.
"You say no one created this rule. Then you claim the rule doesn't apply to our 'own nominee.' So is it a rule or not? I know: It's a rule when it denies a Democratic nominee in 2016. It's no longer a rule when it would deny a GOP nominee in 2020. The rulebook of GOP hypocrisy," Kendi responded to D'Souza.
National Republican Senatorial Committee senior advisor Matt Whitlock rebutted: "No rules were changed but let’s get some more thoughts from you on Judge Barrett's family, that went over great last time."
"The only rule change that allowed this was the one forced through by Harry Reid — a Democrat. And when he did it, Republicans warned him of the possible consequences," Daily Caller associated editor Virginia Kruta fired back.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., first eliminated the 60-vote threshold in 2013 to overcome GOP stonewalling of President Barack Obama's nominations to the lower courts and the executive branch. Known as invoking the "nuclear option" at the time, Reid kept the higher standard in place for SCOTUS.
Nominees were once required to get 60 votes to be confirmed, but Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell altered the standard in 2017 to allow for a simple majority. That move allowed for the confirmation of President Donald Trump's previous two nominees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
"The Republican majority is lighting its credibility on fire... The next time the American people give Democrats a majority in this chamber, you will have forfeited the right to tell us how to run that majority," current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., levelled on the Senate floor Monday. "My colleagues may regret this for a lot longer than they think."
Schumer's comments mirror McConnell's remarks back in 2013 after the Democratic-controlled chamber eliminated the 60-vote threshold. “You’ll regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think,” McConnell said at the time, The Hill reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that Trump and the GOP Senate "committed an act of supreme desperation" just eight days out from Election Day.
The confirmation, which Pelosi labeled "manipulation," was made so the president and the Republican establishment could "achieve their years-long campaign to destroy Americans' health care," she alleged.
"The President's Supreme Court manipulation threatens the very values and rights that define and distinguish our nation: a woman's constitutional right to make her own medical decisions, the rights of LGBTQ Americans, the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages, the future of our planet and environmental protections, voting rights and the right of every American to have a voice in our democracy," Pelosi wrote in a press statement.
Barrett is slated to start her new role after Chief Justice John Roberts administers her judicial oath on Tuesday. Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath at Monday's ceremony.
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