Joe Biden calls for Democrats to 'rise up,' force 'consensus' pick for Supreme Court

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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday called for Democrats to “rise up” and “be heard” because many of the party’s core issues could be at risk with the coming retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

Kennedy was often a “swing vote” on the Court, sometimes breaking a 4-4 tie in favor of conservatives, and other times in favor of the liberal wing of the court. Biden said in a statement that if President Donald Trump is able to fill the vacancy with a conservative judge, “many of our fundamental rights, freedoms, and liberties — and the rule of law — are all at risk.” 

Biden suggested that a conservative court could overturn landmark cases like Roe v. Wade, Obergfell v. Hodges and Fisher v. University of Texas, which upheld abortion rights, marriage equality and affirmative action, respectively. 

More: From guns to gay rights, Justice Anthony Kennedy was the Supreme Court’s swing vote

More: The 25 people most likely to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court

“I wish this president would engage in conversations and nominate a consensus candidate,” Biden said “That’s what we’ve done in the past. That’s what America needs and deserves. He won’t.

“I wish this Senate would force a consensus choice — as we did with Justice Kennedy,” Biden continued. “It no longer has the will.” 

The former vice president said there should be no hearings and no vote on any Trump nominee until after the mid-term elections. 

“It’s up to us, America,” Biden said. “Speak out. Rise up. Be heard.” 

“And show up to vote this November — in numbers like we’ve never seen,” the former vice president said.

Chris Matthews: ‘Hell to pay’ if Democrats don’t block Trump’s Supreme Court pick

More: Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire, opening Supreme Court seat for President Trump

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  • Biden poses for a portrait on Nov. 12, 2017, in New1 of 77
  • Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in conversation2 of 77
  • The Bidens speak onstage during Glamour Celebrates3 of 77
  • Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich participate in a discussion4 of 77
  • Biden takes a selfie with a student after delivering5 of 77
  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shakes hands with Biden6 of 77
  • Biden waves to the crowd as he speaks at a rally to7 of 77
  • The Bidens congratulate the competitors at the Wheelchair8 of 77
  • Biden speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2017 on July 22,9 of 77
  • Biden poses for a photo with congressional pages on10 of 77
  • Biden reacts to the crowd as he returns to Brown-Burton11 of 77
  • Biden addresses a gathering at campaign event for New12 of 77
  • Biden takes off his sunglasses as he delivers the annual13 of 77
  • Biden applauds during the first half of the Washington14 of 77
  • Biden speaks during a health care event on the East15 of 77
  • Biden tucks notes into his jacket after speaking at16 of 77
  • Obama and Biden walk through the Capitol for President17 of 77
  • Biden wipes his eyes as Obama presents him with the18 of 77
  • The president and vice president embrace after Obama19 of 77
  • Biden signs the drawer of the vice president's desk20 of 77
  • Biden watches President Obama, sitting with Defense21 of 77
  • The family of Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., takes a selfie22 of 77
  • Scarlett Willa Wyden, the daughter of Sen. Ron Wyden,23 of 77
  • Biden speaks about sound financial sector regulation24 of 77
  • Obama and Biden walk back to the Oval Office on Nov.25 of 77
  • Biden shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence26 of 77
  • Biden speaks to a crowd of Clinton supporters during27 of 77
  • French President Francois Hollande speaks with Biden28 of 77
  • Hillary Clinton greets Biden on the tarmac at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton29 of 77
  • Vice President Biden speaks during the Democratic National30 of 77
  • Biden checks out the stage at Wells Fargo Arena before31 of 77
  • President Obama and Biden arrive at Orlando International32 of 77
  • Biden talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin33 of 77
  • Biden speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House34 of 77
  • Biden jokes with Obama during an event to mark the35 of 77
  • Biden and Speaker John Boehner listen as Pope Francis36 of 77
  • In this image released by CBS, host Stephen Colbert37 of 77
  • Biden walks in the annual Allegheny County Labor Day38 of 77
  • Biden attends the Sussex County Democratic Party's39 of 77
  • Biden talks with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations40 of 77
  • Biden speaks at Generation Progress' 10th Annual Make41 of 77
  • Biden walks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,42 of 77
  • Obama hugs Biden after delivering the eulogy in honor43 of 77
  • Biden embraces his grandson Hunter before funeral services44 of 77
  • A U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen 1st Class celebrates45 of 77
  • Biden tours the headquarters of PECO energy company46 of 77
  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's grandson, A.J. Bellabona, takes47 of 77
  • Biden speaks to the Saban Forum on Dec. 6, 2014, in48 of 77
  • Biden poses for a selfie with a member of the audience49 of 77
  • Biden enjoys an ice cream cone after an Oct. 8, 2014,50 of 77
  • Biden waves on April 21, 2014, after landing at the51 of 77
  • Biden and his wife, Jill, dance at the Inaugural Ball52 of 77
  • Biden, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee53 of 77
  • Biden visits with patrons during lunch at Cruisers54 of 77
  • Biden delivers his acceptance speech at the Democratic55 of 77
  • The vice president serves up a cone at Kopp's Frozen56 of 77
  • Biden greets spectators at the men's ski jumping competition57 of 77
  • Biden and his wife, Jill, dance on Jan. 20, 2009, at58 of 77
  • Biden and Sarah Palin participate in an Oct. 2, 2008,59 of 77
  • Biden and his son, Beau, at the Democratic National60 of 77
  • Biden addresses the Democratic National Convention61 of 77
  • Biden holds up a 1972 Life magazine with his picture62 of 77
  • Biden speaks during a news conference about the agenda63 of 77
  • Biden rests his head on the shoulder of his wife, Jill,64 of 77
  • Biden talks with then-senator Barack Obama before the65 of 77
  • Biden speaks to law students at Drake University in66 of 77
  • Then-senators Obama and Biden confer during a Foreign67 of 77
  • Biden, left, holds up a bottle of Andro Fuel, a type68 of 77
  • Biden introduces America Online CEO Steve Case to media69 of 77
  • Biden holds up a government booklet on drug and crime70 of 77
  • Then-senator Biden attends a baseball antirust hearing71 of 77
  • Biden stands on stage with his wife, Jill, and sons72 of 77
  • In this Aug. 1, 1987, file photo, 6-year-old Ashley73 of 77
  • Biden waves from his train on June 9, 1987, as he leaves74 of 77
  • Biden is photographed with his sons Hunter, left, and75 of 77
  • Biden is pictured in his official Senate portrait from76 of 77
  • Vice President Biden is pictured at age 10.77 of 77

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