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Sparking More Calls for His Ouster, Chuck Schumer Cuts Deal With Mitch McConnell to Fast-Track Seven Trump Judges

Progressive commentators have concluded that Schumer is not fit to lead the party and has to go.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer shake hands after Shumer delivered a speech at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center on February 12, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky.

In addition to openly refusing to pressure his caucus to unite against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is also helping his Republican counterpart ram through Trump’s far-right lower court nominees at a torrid pace.

Sparking immediate outrage from progressives, Schumer cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday that allowed the GOP to fast-track votes on seven of Trump’s federal court nominees in exchange for… well, it’s not exactly clear what he received in return, outside of getting to go home for a few days.

“Schumer is utterly useless,” wrote journalist Chase Madar, a sentiment that was echoed across social media in response to the Democratic leader’s dealmaking.

Just hours after the deal was reported, all seven judges were confirmed, with the help of some Democrats.

Because these judges — selected with the help of the right-wing Federalist Society — are relatively young, they are now in a position to shape American law for decades to come, threatening the planet, workers, and women’s reproductive rights.

“Sen. Schumer, why are you cutting a deal with Mitch McConnell to fast-track Trump judges? Why won’t you whip the vote to stop Kavanaugh?” wrote Indivisible in response to reports of the senators’ agreement. “We’re fighting to protect our courts and save our democracy. We expect you to do the same.”

While Schumer received much of the backlash on social media following his agreement with McConnell, activist and writer Jonathan Cohn pointed out that rank-and-file Democrats deserve some blame as well, given that they actually outnumbered Republicans in the Senate chamber for some of Tuesday’s votes.

Adam Jentleson, public affairs director for Democracy Forward, argued in a lengthy Twitter thread late Tuesday that ultimately Democrats’ refusal to use all the procedural tools at their disposal to block Trump’s right-wing court picks is due to a complete lack of political will at the top of the party.

“This comes down to leadership. Senate Democratic leaders could take a stand and station one senator on the floor at all times to object, forcing McConnell to jump through interminable hurdles and produce 51 votes — twice — for each nominee, likely resulting in fewer lifetime Trump judges,” Jentleson noted.

While pointing out that it is still unlikely that all of the seven nominees that breezed through on Tuesday would have been blocked if Democrats played hardball like Republicans so often do, Jentleson wrote that “at least one” of the judges could have been blocked.

With seven more of Trump’s judicial picks confirmed with active help from the Senate Democratic leadership, progressive commentators concluded — once again — that Schumer is not fit to lead the party and has to go.

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