Promptly after news of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, some took to Twitter to threaten with arson and violence in a vehement bid to block Republicans from replacing her before the election.
"If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f-----g thing down", author Reza Aslan tweeted. Later, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged a vote on President Trump's nominee, he fumed: ”Over our dead bodies, literally”.
“F**k no. Burn it all down”, author Aaron Gouveia also called out against the prospect of holding such a vote.
A number of users went still further, with Canadian political science Professor Emmett MacFarlane calling for arson, and thus prompting accusations that he made a terroristic threat.
"Burn Congress down before letting Trump try to appoint anyone to SCOTUS", the Waterloo professor wrote.
The strong-worded call even prompted Canadian attorney Ezra Levant to worry about the consequences for MacFarlane's students in response.
"Macfarlane is a professor at @UWaterloo, promoting violence against his political enemies", he said. "If you were a young woman in his class who was a Trump supporter, would you risk being a target of his violent rage if he found out about you? Should you transfer to a different class?”
Macfarlane is a professor at @UWaterloo, promoting violence against his political enemies. If you were a young woman in his class who was a Trump supporter, would you risk being a target of his violent rage if he found out about you? Should you transfer to a different class? pic.twitter.com/wftvjI0OKA— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) September 19, 2020
"We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election”, writer Beau Willimon commented in an apparent rage.
Similarly, a member of Wisconsin's Ethics Commission, Scott Ross, ordered Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., to "burn it all down" if he couldn't stop McConnell. "F*****g A, Ed. If you can't shut it down, burn it down", he said.
Other Twitter reactions largely didn’t contain calls for violence, but indicated that opponents wouldn't take Ginsburg's replacement calmly.
"If McConnell jams someone through, which he will, there will be riots", warned GQ writer Laura Bassett.
Ginsburg's death came shortly before the November presidential election and has opened up the opportunity for Republicans to press ahead and confirm a new conservative justice. The prospect has struck a raw nerve with Democrats, who have blasted McConnell, R-Ky., for hypocrisy in light of his previous refusal to hold a vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland before the 2016 election.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump said that he was going to nominate a new Supreme Court justice next week, stressing that he did not agree with Senator Susan Collins’ call to wait until after the November election to fill the vacancy after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.
"I totally disagree with her, we have an obligation, we won, and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That’s not the next president", Trump said, adding "hopefully I’ll be the next president”.
Trump’s Democratic rival in the upcoming election, Joe Biden, called out the president for his comments, also prompting accusations of hypocrisy. Many recalled his comments in a March 2016 op-ed in The New York Times, in which he stated that he was “surprised and saddened” to hear Republican senators say they would no longer accept a nomination because it was an election year, adding that it is the “constitutional duty” of a country’s head to nominate if there happens to be a vacancy.
POTUS named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible candidates after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, aged 87.