Senate Democrats are nudging the GOP to play Thursday’s annual Congressional Baseball Game with eight players as a nod to the currently unfilled Supreme Court vacancy.
“If the Republicans believe the Supreme Court can consider some of the most important issues of our time without a full roster of justices, then they should have no problem competing without a full Republican squad of players on the field,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a release.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said that, even on an eight-man team, the Republicans will “have far right field well-covered.”
“If Republicans think eight members is enough for the Supreme Court, surely they think eight is enough to play for their baseball game,” the New York Democrat said in the release.
President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, in March to fill the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republican leadership has refused to hold a hearing or vote for Garland in hopes that presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump will win the presidency in the fall and be able to make his own appointment to the seat.
Filling the Supreme Court vacancy has become one of the biggest issues in the November election. Trump even made the unprecedented move to release a list of conservative justices he would appoint to the bench in an effort to quench anxieties from Republicans that his judicial appointments could be a wild card.
With just eight justices on the court, 4-4 deadlocked decisions serve as a reinforcement of whatever the prior court ruled in a case. An example of this happened on Thursday, when a 4-4 decision led to the ruling of a prior court being upheld in a case regarding Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The deadlock worked to block Obama’s plan.
The Congressional Baseball Game will be played Thursday night at Nationals Park in Washington DC.