Florida Congresswoman Suggests Impeachment, Court Packing in Response to SCOTUS Nomination Clash

In a recent interview, Democratic Florida Representative Val Demings spoke about possible strategies that House Democrats may implement to delay a vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination.

On Friday's episode of Firing Line on PBS, Demings spoke about Trump's plans to nominate a new Supreme Court justice, with the election just weeks away.

Firing Line host Margaret Hoover asked Demings about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent comments that suggested a second Trump impeachment may come if Republican senators insist on voting in a new justice.

On ABC News' This Week segment this past Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos spoke to Pelosi about the impending Supreme Court nominee. When asked if she'd consider impeaching the president again, she responded: "We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I'm not about to discuss right now," before saying the "integrity of the election" needs to be protected.

Demings responded to Hoover that Pelosi is "very strategic and very methodical," before getting into strategies. "The ability to move forward with whatever strategy, whether that's impeachment, whether it's after Vice President [Joe] Biden and Senator [Kamala] Harris win, they look at expanding the number of justices on the court, those are decisions that will be made by leadership," she said.

.@RepValDemings on the Supreme Court nomination battle:

“Republicans set the rules. They now want to change it 40 days out. I think it is incumbent upon us to use every tool within our authority to right a wrong.”

Impeachment and expanding the court are options, she says. pic.twitter.com/xMYYBZtLxt

— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) September 25, 2020

Demings continued: "I think it is incumbent upon us to use every tool within our authority to right a wrong."

Hoover asked if Demings was referring to court packing, the idea of expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Demings said that while there have been discussions about expanding the court, she doesn't see it as the same thing as court packing.

"I do look at it as a possible response to moving forward with an election that Republicans said just a few short years ago they would not move forward with," she said. "You talk about packing the court. What about ramming a justice down America's throat that we don't have the time even to properly vet?"

Demings also questioned why Republicans have planned to rush a SCOTUS nominee, saying that Trump may be worried about his re-election. "What's the hurry? Is the hurry the fact that the President's behind in the polls? He's very worried about being re-elected," she said.

Earlier in the interview, Demings called on Republicans who wouldn't confirm then-President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee to follow the precedent and wait for the election, as they did in 2016. When Hoover noted that at the time Democrats wanted to appoint a new justice, Demings pointed out that Merrick Garland's nomination was nearly nine months before the election, while the current election is less than 40 days away.

"Republicans are the ones who said that during a presidential election year—we were nine months out—they said during the year, we should not move forward, that the new president, the American people should weigh in with 40 days out, and they're moving forward full speed ahead," she said.

Demings' communications director did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time publication.

Supreme Court
A hearse carrying the casket of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives at the U.S. Capitol, where her body will lie in state in Statuary Hall on September 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. Rep. Val Demings spoke about possible strategies Democrats may use to delay Trump appointing a nominee to the Supreme Court. Getty/Jonathan Ernst - Pool