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Empire State Indivisible Calls on Senator Chuck Schumer to Hold Democrats Together Against a Trump SCOTUS Pick

June 30, 2018

NEW YORK—While Senator Chuck Schumer is fond of shifting attention to “Mr. President” or Republicans during his floor speeches, when it comes to preventing an appointment of an extreme Supreme Court Justice, the responsibility to lead lies squarely with him.

Schumer must whip all members of his caucus to vote against any of Trump’s nominees. This is a critical mission: those on Trump’s SCOTUS shortlist are uniformly unacceptable. We know enough about them already: they must all be rejected now.

Asking Senator Schumer to whip the vote is a reasonable demand. After all, holding Senate Democrats together is Schumer’s job. While it may be a challenge to peel off two Republicans to vote against these toxic nominees, Schumer’s ability to lead shouldn’t be. It’s also not a stretch to say that if Schumer can delay the SCOTUS appointment past November, it would energize the fight in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nevada and Arizona to defeat or replace Republican senators there.

Leadership has been a recurring problem with Schumer, especially this year. In January, he bungled the government shutdown and threw away a chance to protect Dreamers. He fell down again in March, allowing the Bank Lobbyist Bill to pass the Senate, and was unacceptably quiet during the confirmation process of the bigot Mike Pompeo and torturer Gina Haspel. No one was fooled by his own “no” votes on these Cabinet positions—he refused to issue public statements condemning these nominees when it really mattered.

The current battle to protect SCOTUS must proceed differently. Senator Schumer needs to answer this yes-or-no question: will he whip the votes in order to keep all Democrats united in opposition to a Trump pick for SCOTUS?

We can support Senator Schumer, but only if he acts like a leader. This question acts as a referendum on his leadership. If he answers no, we’re going to have to explain to the future how Senator Schumer failed as one of the main leaders of the opposition during a takeover of America’s judicial branch.

Want to learn more? Read, discuss, and mobilize around Indivisible’s 2-Step Strategy to Win the Supreme Court Fight.


Empire State Indivisible uses the tactics of the Indivisible Guide to defend New York against the Trump administration, and those in our state government that enable its harmful policies. Our steadfast nature, together with our enterprising New York spirit, make our grassroots group one-of-a-kind.

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