New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as one of the high-profile faces of the Democratic response to Republicans’ plan to quickly seat a new, conservative supreme court justice.
Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most prominent champions of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, was quick to offer a rallying cry to supporters discouraged by the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last week.
“This moment is not the time for despair, it is not the time for cynicism. It is not the time to give up. It is not the time for us to say ‘it’s too late’ or ‘it’s too far gone’ or ‘I don’t know what to do,’ we’re going to talk about it right now,” The New York congresswoman said in an 40-minute Instagram video posted on Saturday.
“Because it’s that important. Because it is not hyperbole. The actual balance of our democracy rests in the actions that we choose to make – that I choose to make, that you choose to make, that every single individual – chooses to make between now and election day.”
Ocasio-Cortez has also made appearances alongside New York senator Chuck Schumer, the top ranking Democrat in the Senate. They made a joint appearance Sunday night in Brooklyn to urge supporters to mobilize to fight against Republicans’ nominee to replace Ginsburg. That has suggested a strong sense of unity between Ocasio-Cortez and one of the most powerful establishment Democrats across the party.
“I think that it sends a strong signal right off the bat that the party needs to be united in winning the fight as opposed to divided over the form of any retaliation might take,” said Matt House, a former communications director for Schumer. “It’s a recognition that tipping your hand and being public about the exact form of retribution might take in the new Senate is counterproductive at this point. And it makes clear the progressive base understands that and it’s a strong signal that the party’s united on that front.”
She’s also been one of the highest profile voices laying out the options Democrats say they have if Republicans push through a new supreme court nominee before the election.
Ginsburg’s dying wish was for the winner of the November presidential election to nominate her replacement on the supreme court. But top Republicans, including Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have signaled that they could move to confirm a new justice before the election.
Democrats have floated the idea of possibly adding additional justices to the high court or impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr as a means of stalling a new justice before the outcome fo the next election.
“We should leave all options on the table, including the number of justices that are on the supreme court,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Saturday.